Three Thai men were arrested on Tuesday (5 Apr) by the so-called Green cops for allegedly selling a tiger cub smuggled from Laos through a Facebook account.
Pol Colonel Wisit Plopmuang, commander of subdivision 1 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division, or the so-called Green cops, said the trio was apprehended in a sting operation at a major shopping mall in Nonthaburi province.
Pol Colonel Wisit said officials has received information from the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) that the men were using the Facebook account to sell wild animals, prompting the unit to plan for the sting operation. With their surnames withheld pending formal charges, Pirapol, 23, Pornthiwa, 30, and Chatree, 41, were identified as the three suspects and taken into custody.
According to Pol Colonel Wisit, the suspects offered to sell the tiger cub for 400,000 baht to an undercover officer, while demanding that 200,000 baht be initially deposited into their bank accounts. While meeting up at the shopping mall to hand over the remaining 200,000 baht to the men, the officer, and other team members revealed their identities and placed the men under an arrest.
Chatree told police he has smuggled the cub from Laos through a natural border for the two other suspects to sell online.
The tiger cub was later turned over to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation for identification and DNA verification in order to determine its health and origins.