After months of questioning the husband following initial suspicions, the police managed to arrest the couple red-handed and seized four baby tigers from them that were allegedly trafficked from Laos.
The Thai police had been investigating the husband since September, and authorities eventually arrested him and his wife and rescued four tiger cubs on Tuesday in Thailand’s Moukdahan province.
The police and national park officials had discovered that the couple was selling protected wildlife, so they posed as customers to get in touch with them. On being arrested they claimed that the tigers came from “another country” and that they were planning to raise the cubs themselves.
While negotiating the price with the undercover police officers, the duo even offered them a discount charging THB 1.5 Million (roughly USD 42,016) for the two male and two female cubs that were around four months old.
On coming face-to-face with the couple, the police immediately arrested them for illegal wildlife trading after discovering four baby tigers, two male, and two female, kept inside two baskets in the back of their pickup truck.
The police confiscated the couple’s Black Toyota, one mobile phone, and the baskets that the tigers were kept in. The cubs were reportedly transferred to a wildlife breeding station in Sisaket province.
Thai police are continuing their investigation into the precise origin of the tigers, as although the country has ample habitat for tigers to thrive, they have been considered functionally extinct in Laos. More likely the animals have been bred at one of the many tiger farms known to operate in Laos.