Bangkok, the 7th of July 2010 [PDN]: The man, now known to be Mr. Wallop Naruemitprackakorn , was apprehended with over 115 native Thai turtles, weighing an estimated 500kg, near Bangkok’s Kasetsart University.
The consignment of protected animals included Yellow-headed Temple Terrapin, Siamese Box Terrapin, Stripe-necked Terrapin, Black Terrapin and 20 snakes. Mr. Naruemitprackakorn confessed that he had been transporting the protected species to an intermediary in Laos who would then deliver them to an agent in China.
Mr. Naruemitprackakorn explained that he had purchased the animals for a cost of approximately Bt400 per kilogram and was due to sell them in Laos for Bt700-800 per kilogram. He stated that their worth was approximately Bt7,000-8,000 per kilogram on the Chinese black market.
Natural Resources & Environmental Crime Police have now charged Mr. Naruemitprackakorn with illegal possession of a protected animal under the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 1992. Violations of the act are punishable by up to 4 years imprisonment and/or a Bt40,000 maximum fine.
The turtles are now expected to be handed into the National Fisheries Department where they will be nursed upon their re-release into the wild. The 20 snakes including several native cobras and pythons will be given to the Royal Forestry Department for release into the wild.