Suspected Wildlife Trafficking ‘Kingpin’ arrested
DSWF has been supporting Freeland and the critical work it undertakes in wildlife protection and wildlife trade investigations, since 2010. We were really excited to learn on Friday that, as a result of one of their undercover investigations Boonchai Bach was arrested, for his alleged involvement in trafficking 14 rhino horns from Thailand to Africa in December. Known to the police, who claim he is “the ringleader of a major smuggling syndicate” who has been trading in illicit animal parts for over 10 years, he and his family are suspected of selling poached animals parts from tigers, elephants, rhinos, pangolins and lions, to dealers in Laos, Vietnam and China. One of his clients is believed to be Southeast Asia’s biggest wildlife dealer and this illicit network of regional traffickers has been dubbed ‘Hydra’. In a statement released on Friday and picked up by the press nationwide, Steve Galster from Freeland said “This arrest spells hope for wildlife. We hope Thailand, its neighbouring countries and counterparts in Africa will build on this arrest and tear Hydra apart.” To read more about the work that we fund fighting wildlife crime please click here.