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Three Thais held for trying to sell tiger cub via Facebook

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ANN) – The so-called Green cops on Tuesday arrested three Thai men for allegedly selling via a Facebook group a tiger cub smuggled from Laos.

Police Colonel Wisit Plopmuang Commander of subdivision 1 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division, or the so-called Green cops, said the three were arrested at 7pm at the carpark of Central Westgate in Nonthaburi province in a sting operation.

Wisit said his subdivision received a tip-off from the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) that a group of Thais had been selling wild animals via a Facebook group, so the Green cops planned the sting operation.

The three suspects were identified as Pirapol, 23, Pornthiwa, 30 and Chatree, 41. Their surnames were withheld by police pending formal charges. Police seized a four-month-old tiger cub from them.

Wisit said police had learned from the WJC that Pirapol and Pornthiwa were selling wild animals on a Facebook group. Police started monitoring the group until the suspects offered to sell the tiger cub for THB400,000.

A tiger cub for sale via a Facebook group. PHOTO: THE NATION/ANN

An undercover policeman offered to buy the cub and the suspects demanded a deposit of THB200,000.

After the undercover policeman had transferred the deposit, the two asked him to bring the balance THB200,000 and collect the cub at the department store’s carpark on Tuesday evening.

Once the policeman paid the remaining THB200,000, Pirapol and Pornthiwa led the policeman to Chatree who had custody of the cub.

Other policemen hiding nearby came out to arrest them and took them to Bang Yai Police Station for interrogation.

The three suspects said Chatree had smuggled the cub from Laos via a natural border for the two other suspects to sell online.

The tiger cub was handed over to the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department. The department will check its DNA to determine its origins before taking appropriate measures for its rehabilitation.