Thai customs officials have foiled an attempt to smuggle 60,000 dollars worth of tiger skins and bones via the country’s postal service, officials said Thursday.
Customs officials prevented the posting of four tiger skins and assorted tiger bones from Hat Yai, southern Thailand, to Mae Sai, norther Thailand, earlier this week, but failed to arrest the sender.
Royal Thai Customs Director General Somchai Poolsawasdi said that stricter law enforcement against traffickers using road routes had prompted them to switch to the postal service.
The Customs Department will further investigate who was behind the tiger parts posting, he told a press conference.
‘Traffickers must be investigated, caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if we’re going to have any chance of averting the extinction of this magnificent animal,’ said Freeland Foundation’s Tim Redford.
Freeland, a non-governmental organization that opposes animal trafficking, often colludes with Thai authorities to crack down upon smugglers of endangered species.
The number of wild tigers in Asia have dropped from 100,000 a century ago to only 3,200 now, largely due to a huge local demand for tiger meat, skins and other parts.
Demand for tiger parts in China poses the greatest threat to tigers in the wild, international experts said Monday. The illicit trade in the world’s largest felines is run by organized crime outfits.