On March 10, Thai Customs officers stopped plus inspected two suspicious suitcases in the airport and discovered they were filled with rhino horn, a commodity that could be worth more than gold per kilo on the black market. Several law enforcement officers, including the senior official under analysis, a public prosecutor, and 2 Thai women, were accompanying the particular suitcases. Police officers can be seen on Security camera as if they are escorting the official and perhaps guarding the suitcases.
Traditions officers refused to let the packages pass, despite the fact that an official accompanied the particular luggage, and called the police plus Department of National Parks in order to conduct a rapid joint investigation. Traditions officers started probing each of the individuals accompanying the baggage. The 2 women fled the scene. An arrest warrant has been released for them. Officials are also investigating the particular role that the police officers may have performed in the case.
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Freeland, the Bangkok-based counter-trafficking organization, is providing deductive support to police and Traditions on this case with the support from the analytics support company, Cellebrite. “ It is rare to see governments focus on corruption, ” said Steven Galster, Director of Freeland, “ yet wildlife poaching and trafficking over the huge scale we are seeing, specifically with rhinos, cannot happen with no help of well-placed corrupt officials. We applaud the leadership associated with Thai Customs, the police and Lawyer General for taking this courageous plus important move by investigating the particular possible corrupt links behind this particular scheme. The public should help by giving them with any information they have on these types of and other suspects. ”
Since Freeland is providing analytical support around the case, we encourage anyone with home elevators this or similar incidents to make contact with authorities, or to contact Freeland: [email protected] org . Freeland also encourages Thai government bodies to widen and deepen this particular investigation until it results in the particular dismantlement of the syndicate that is purchasing the death of countless rhinos. The frontline NGO also expectations that once all the culprits are usually discovered, their ill-gotten assets are usually seized and converted into an animals protection fund that also benefits units which are successful enforcers.
This probe is likely to widen throughout borders, as the horn came from The african continent, and the people being investigated happen to be frequent travelers to transit plus destination countries for the illegal animals trade.
Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world which is free of wildlife trafficking and individual slavery. Its team of police force, development and communications specialists function alongside partners in Asia, The african continent and the Americas to protect the environment plus vulnerable people from organized criminal offense and corruption. For more info, visit www.freeland.org also; adhere to Freeland on Twitter @FREELANDpeople or even facebook. com/freelandfoundation .
Photo © Kayleigh Ghiot/ Freeland