Smuggled Pangolins from Laos Seized in Mekong River
Thai authorities have rescued 40 live pangolins that were being smuggled in a boat from Laos to Thailand.
The pangolins were found in sacks aboard the vessel that had crossed the Mekong River. The animals are said to have been bound for restaurants and traditional medicine shops in Chiang Rai, and were worth around 615,000 Thai baht.
The smuggler, who attempted to bring the pangolins across the border at Thailand’s Ban Chaem Pong border point from Bokeo Province in Laos, escaped arrest.
In Thailand, the smuggling of pangolins is a violation of the 1992 Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act.
Meanwhile in Laos, regulations on wildlife trafficking are getting tougher, with the Prime Minister himself issuing an order last week on increased stringency in management and inspection of protected wild flora and fauna. The order was issued to tighten implementation of forest plant and wildlife protection, especially those species which are classified as endangered.
Under the new order, border checkpoint staff and police officers are being instructed to increase vigilance regarding inspections for trafficking of wild animals and plants. Any immigration officers found aiding or assisting wildlife traffickers will be immediately arrested and prosecuted.
Source: The Nation
Photo: The Nation