NARATHIWAT, Nov 22 – Fifty pangolins, also called ‘scaly anteaters’ and a protected wildlife species, bound for China were intercepted by the Thai authorities on Tuesday morning in this southern border province.
Four local men were arrested at a road checkpoint in the provincial seat while driving a pick-up truck carrying 50 of the endangered scaly mammals from Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok district to an agent in Yala province.
They were to be transported to another agent in the Lao PDR and then to continue to China, according to Dechrat Simsiri, Narathiwat deputy governor.
One suspect confessed the men bought the pangolins from a wild animal dealer at a fee of Bt1,000-1,200/kg. The four were charged with possession of endangered species and relocating the animals without permission.
Thailand is seen as a major transit corridor for pangolins en route to China, where the animal’s flesh is a delicacy and considered as an aphrodisiac.