Tue, January 25, 2022

in-focus

Tiger cubs on board, bus driver busted


Two tiger cubs were among the 26 passengers on a public bus in Chumphon on Friday morning, resulting in the driver’s arrest on a charge of smuggling wildlife.

The female cubs, about four months old, were being transported inside sealed plastic bins. There were 24 unwitting human passengers on the bus.
Police had been tipped off about the plan to smuggle the tigers aboard the inter-provincial bus, which left Koh Samui in Surat Thani at 4.40pm on Thursday, bound for Bangkok.
Police and officials of other agencies set up a checkpoint on the Phetchkasem Highway in Mueang Chumphon’s Tambon Wang Phai at 1am and waited for the bus. 
A search turned up the two plastic bins with their lids closed, the cubs inside.
Driver Somneuk Jaiman, 59, claimed that a “customer” had offered him Bt1,000 to deliver two kittens to someone at the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal, but he didn’t know they were tiger kittens. 
Somneuk has been charged under Section 19 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1992 with having protected wildlife in his possession without a permit. More serious charges could follow.
Officials estimate the two cubs could together have fetched Bt1 million on the illegal wildlife market.

Published : August 25, 2017

By : The Nation