Thai authorities Wednesday confiscated a contraband shipment of wild boar meat and three live hornbills valued at more than 1 million baht (U.S. $28,500), in an effort to curb funding of insurgents in southern Thailand by cross-border smuggling rings, an official told BenarNews.
About 50 military, police, customs, forestry and civil officers searched cargo cars of a train at the Pattani railway station in Koke Pho district, which lies in the troubled Thai Deep South near the border with Malaysia. The train was traveling to Bangkok from Su-ngai Kolok, on the border, district chief Swet Petchnui said.
Officers confiscated four tons of board meat, 850 kilos of powdered milk, 150 boxes of instant foods, liquid soap and other goods that were imported illegally from Malaysia. Investigators also found three live hornbills in the shipment.
The items are considered contraband because the ring shipped them without paying proper taxes, he said.
“This shows an example of ‘opportunistic threats’ carried out by an illegal ring,” Swet said.
“The 4th Region Army commander reiterates the need to get rid of this kind of gang as soon as possible to cut off finances, which will make the situation better. We try to arrest the culprits,” he said.
Officers did not catch gang members responsible for this load of contraband, Swet added.
“This lot came from Su-ngai Kolok, Narathiwat. The smuggling was carried out at syndicate level,” he said, referring to a neighboring province in the Muslim dominated Deep South.
“Smuggling has been occurring for a long time. Officers try to arrest ‘big fish’ to try to capture more suspects involved,” he added.
Swet said the birds were sent to forestry officials.
Full story: BenarNews
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