On February 4th 2018 rangers of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife received intelligence that a group of poachers were active in the jungle of Thungyai Naresuan* Wildlife Sanctuary. A few hours later in the morning of February 5th around 2:40AM, the rangers found a poaching camp within the above mentioned jungle near the Phachi creek, used by Mr Premchai Karnasuta* president of ItalThai Company. The rangers of the Maharaj Unit, Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary apprehended Mr Premchai and his party red handed with the following evidence;
1. A hunting rifle calibre .22
2. A hunting rifle with precision sight
3. A double barrelled shotgun
4. Hundreds of rounds of ammunition (large quantity found on a second inspection of the area)
5. Poached and killed protected wild animals such as a black leopard (panthera pardus), red muntjac (muntiacus muntjak),
Kalij pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos), all species protected under Thai wildlife conservation law.
Mr Premchai and his three accomplices were arrested by rangers at the spot and are/were to be handed over to police at the Thong Pha Phum police station, Kanchanaburi province. It is for now unclear if these man have been indeed handed over to police and if charges have been laid against them accordion to the law.
The charges these man should face are as following;
1. Hunting within a wildlife sanctuary without a permit (article 36 and article 53 of the Wildlife preservation act of 1992)
2. Hunting of protected wildlife without a permit (article 16 and article 47 of the Wildlife preservation act of 1992)
3. Illegal possession of protected wildlife without permission (article 19 and article 47 of the Wildlife preservation act of 1992)
4. Illegal possession of hunting equipment and firearms (article 1 of the ministerial law update 7) inside a protected area (article 37 of the wildlife preservation act of 1992)
5. Collecting wild specimen of wildlife and/or plants in a wildlife sanctuary without permission (article 14 of the Wildlife preservation act of 1992)
6. Possession of illegal firearms, ammunition and explosives (forbidden under the firearms act of 1947)
The Wildlife Friends Foundation applauds the rangers of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife for the swift action taken against these criminal thugs, and wish to remind the public that only a few years ago an old, poor couple were sentenced to over 10 years in jail for collecting mushrooms in a similar area, we therefor expect a similar or much higher sentence in this case.
* The Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in Thailand in the northern part of Kanchanaburi Province and the southern part of Tak Province where wild elephants, tigers and lots of other endangered species roam free.
* More info on Mr. Premchai Karnasuta Premchai Karnasuta MBA: Executive Profile & Biography – Bloomberg