Russians caught with macaques
Two Russian tourists were arrested yesterday on charges of illegally possessing three protected pig-tailed macaques. They were allegedly exploiting the animals by letting tourists pose with the monkeys for a fee.
Andrey Belov, 31, and Ekaterina Denisovich, 22, were arrested by a police team led by Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division chief Maj-General Norasak Hemnithi.
They were caught on Phang Nga province's Koh Khai Nok island luring tourists to pay to take photos with the three pig-tailed macaques named Antony, Sam and Sonya.
Pig-tailed macaques are protected and possession is banned under the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act.
Belov and Denisovich were unable to show the police any legal documents permitting wildlife possession issued by a state agency. All they could provide were health-examination papers. The duo is currently being detained at the Phuket provincial police station.