PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN — Police charged a man with animal trafficking after finding 76 pangolins in the back of his truck Saturday.
Sompol Mekchai, 45, was arrested at a police checkpoint near the Sam Roi Yot Police Station in Prachuap Khiri Khan province after police found 18 sacks stuffed with scaly mammals in the back of his truck.
He reportedly confessed that it was his third run trafficking the animals, which came from Indonesia, for which he was paid 8,000 per job. He said the pangolins were on their way to be used in traditional medicine in China; now they have been taken to a wildlife center in Phetchaburi province.
Police said they were checking Sompol’s truck when they noticed a strong smell among the construction materials on it.
The 76 pangolins are worth approximately 10 million baht.
Pangolins are protected under Thai and international law. Traffickers can be punished by up to four years in prison and a fine of 40,000 baht.