When police in Muang Chumphon Police station pulled a vehicle over at Baan Pala checkpoint in Pratew district yesterday afternoon they discovered a police captain driving a car containing 20 elephant tusks hidden in fertiliser bags. The police captain from the southern Thailand province of Sadao was also carrying an unregistered firearm and ammunition.
Under questioning the police captain said he was hired to transport the elephant tusks from Malaysia into Thailand.
Officers from Muang Chumpton arrested the captain under wildlife protection laws and for carrying illegal weapons. The police have not given details about the value of the elephant tusks but said the vlaue was ‘very high’. Investigations are continuing into the attempt to smuggle in the tusks.
Local campaigners from FREELAND have welcomed the arrest. “We congratulate Major General Erb Kongklum, Commander of Chumphon Province and his staff for this valiant act of fighting corruption to protect wildlife,” said FREELAND Director Steven Galster. “We need more officers like them to fight this new form of transnational organized crime.”