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Fri 13 May 2011 11:37 AM

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UAE man held over Bangkok Airport animal smuggling bid

Airline passenger caught with leopards, panthers, a bear and monkeys hidden in suitcases

UAE man held over Bangkok Airport animal smuggling bid
A baby bear found in the suitcases of a UAE passenger at Bangkok Airport.

Police at Bangkok's international airport on Friday arrested a UAE passenger whose suitcases were filled with endangered animals.

The animals, which included baby leopards, panthers, a bear and monkeys, had been drugged and were bound for Dubai, anti-trafficking group FREELAND Foundation said on its website.

It said the man arrested was a 36-year-old UAE citizen who was stopped as he was preparing to fly first-class from Bangkok to Dubai.

FREELAND said undercover officers from the Thai Nature Crime Police had been monitoring the suspect from his illegal purchase to the moment he stepped into Bangkok's Suvarnabuhmi Airport. 

The man was taken into custody at Rajatheva Police Station, while veterinarians cared for the animals, which included two leopards, two panthers, one Asiatic black bear, and two macaque monkeys.

"The trafficker was stunned, it was a perfect undercover operation by the Thai Police Task Force," said Steven Galster, director of FREELAND Foundation whose staff were present for the bust.

Thailand is a hub for illegal wildlife trafficking, but authorities finding so many live mammals is unusual. Typical hauls are of rare tortoises, snakes and lizards.

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Ahmed Yousuf 9 years ago

Clearly the individual needs to be stuffed in suitcase and sent off on a 32 hour airline journey to live out his/her wonderful life in a steel cage in the open sun behind someone's house. That should probably give him/her a taste for his/her own medicine.

Peter Johnston 9 years ago

Make him sit in a Bangkok jail forever !! These animals are not meant to be domesticated in palaces and large villas.

max 9 years ago

Unbelievable! UN.. UN.. UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Ahmed 9 years ago

He now goes to a Thai prison and he will have plenty of time to repent for this horrible crime. P.S.Thai prisons are horrible.

Raj 9 years ago

This guy is cruel and stupid. He should be kept in Bangkok zoo for all to see and throw peanuts at.

Punky Brewster 9 years ago

He should be treated fairly, according to the Thai laws, w/ no cruelty against him, even though he did cruel things to those poor animals. The LAW should take it's course, and people should refrain from judging the Thai courts if the punishment seems severe. Of course, this treatment of animals for personal pleasure is common in these regions. People keep endangered animals as pets!

Christine B.Osborne 9 years ago

Yes, this UAE citizen should be given a prison sentence, but it must be said, there is clearly a DEMAND from people in Dubai or indeed any other of the emirates. Good for the Thai sting operation.

gordon 9 years ago

I doubt if he did it for himself.

If that is the case who were the organisers, who did he do it for?

Shaz 9 years ago

Thai Goverment should atleast allow the guy to stay in Thailand Zoo with all the animals he was trying to smuggle !!

zuhair jawad 9 years ago

The man should be charged on three counts.

1. Smuggling of animals.
2. Cruelty to animals and
3. Using dangerous drugs.

Instead of sending him to serve his time BEHIND BARS in a prison he should be locked up in a cage in a Zoo or in a cage at Bangkok Airport so other would be smugglers keep a note.