AN Indian man was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport today (June 13) after customs officials found 60 kilogrammes of cowhide and 140 kilogrammes of boar tusks in six suitcases he had brought to the country, TV Channel 7 said.
Mr. Somchuan Rattanamangkhalanon, head of Livestock Development Department, said he was informed that livestock and customs officials had found that six suitcases that originated from India look suspiciously large and heavy. Upon inspecting they discovered large quantities of cowhide and boar tusks in them totalling 200 kg.
The officials questioned the unidentified Indian passenger who confessed to smuggling the two items to Thailand to make jewellery and talismans which would be passed off to buyers as being tiger skin and teeth.
He is now being prosecuted under Section 31 of the Animal Epidemic Act B.E. 2558 (2015) with punishment being meted out under this law’s Section 68 and faces maximum two years’ imprisonment and/or maximum 200,000 baht fine.
The hide and tusks that have been confiscated will be destroyed to prevent the spread of disease as they could be contaminated.
Somchuan said his department strictly monitors the smuggling of live animals and carcasses into Thailand through all channels to prevent the spread of a host of diseases and thereby protect consumers and livestock.
Those who have clues about smuggling these items should either contact the district Livestock Development office, call the department at 063-225-6888 or contact the inspector at 02-501-3473, or post a message at the app DLD 4.0 at any time.
Cowhide in the suitcases offloaded from a flight from India. Photo: TV Channel 7