BANGKOK – Customs House Officials arrested two men and seized 122 pangolins worth more than one million baht after intercepting a car in Thap Sakae district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province early Friday.
The officials stopped the Toyota Fortuner car for a search at kilometre marker 361 on Phetkasem Highway and found 122 pangolins in plastic crates hidden inside.
The driver Suriya Sriphuttha and his accomplice Kittikorn Chaiyanto were arrested for smuggling protected animals in violation of the Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act and the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The two allegedly confessed to buying the pangolins for 5,000 baht each in Malaysia. They said they were delivering them to a northeastern province to be smuggled across the border to Laos and eventually into China where the animals can each fetch around 20,000 baht.