Thai Customs seize US$60,000 in contraband Indonesian coral

BANGKOK, (TNA) – Thai Customs Department officials seized more than 800 pieces of rare and protected corals and sea anemones smuggled from Indonesia, worth about Bt2 million (US$60,000 ), a senior official of the Customs Department said on Tuesday.

Customs Department deputy director-general Kornsiri Pinnarut told a news conference that it confiscated 858 corals, sea anemones, giant clams, cowries and sea fans weighing some 300kg altogether.

Customs officials found the items during a search at a Thai Airways International warehouse, she said.

According to the customs official, Siriporn Umphu from Kalasin province in the northeast imported the items from Indonesia on March 1, giving false information that they were ornamental fish.

Officials initially believed that corals were destined to be sold at Bangkok’s biggest Chatuchak weekend market and Siriporn will be summoned to report to the police on charges of providing false information to import forbidden items into the kingdom without permission and violating the 1992 Wildlife Preservation
and Protection Act.

The Customs Department has made arrests in three cases and seized exhibits worth more than Bt142 million (over $4 million) since October 2009. (TNA)

Source: http://www.mcot.net/content/27380

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