Late on Sunday night, police officers stopped Payom Chueyphoo, 40, as he was driving his car along the Saeng Chuto Road. They searched the car and discovered ten live pangolins, which Mr Payom was transporting to his home in Kanchanaburi, which is located just to the west of Bangkok.
The ten pangolins, which are brown in colour and are also known as scaly anteaters, weighed a combined 34.5kg. The animals had been packed in plastic bags and were being held in the boot of the car.
After being questioned, Mr Payom told the police that he bought the wild animals from Ban Kao village in Muang district for 500 baht each. However, the police had already been informed that he had links with a major wildlife trafficking gang. Mr Payon denied the charges, claiming that he planned to cook the pangolins for his family and friends to eat.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Narongdet Kamolbutr, of the Natural Resources and Environment Crime Division led the operation on Sunday. The police have been watching Mr Payom for some time, but this is the first time they have been able to catch him in the act.
“It is big business with big money and it is very difficult to crack down on them,” Narongdet Kamolbutr,” commented to the Bangkok Post.