CHIANG RAI – Chiang Saen border checkpoint Customs House Officials in Chiang Rai have seized 49 kilograms of seahorse skeletons being smuggled out of the country with other shipments through Chiang Saen border checkpoint.
Chief of Chiang Saen Customs House,Wallop Wuthapanich, said the dried seahorses were found hidden inside eight shipments consigned by a large wholesale company.
Chief Wallop Wuthapanich, said the seahorse skeletons were packed in vacuum sealed plastic bags, apparently for preservation, estimating the value of the marine creatures at 3 million baht, and believed they were destined for buyers in China.
The retail price of seahorse skeletons is as high as 100,000 baht per kilogramme due to the misconception, especially among the well-to-do in China, that eating them stimulates energy and sexual potency, the local customs chief said.
Seahorses are an endangered species and their trade is prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), Chief Wallop Wuthapanich said.