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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Thai man nabbed with 16 tiger cubs in truck

He will now face charges of trafficking endangered species.

File photo of (an adorable) tiger cub
File photo of (an adorable) tiger cub
Image: Radek Petrasek/Czech News Agency/Press Association Images

A THAI MAN has been arrested after authorities found him with 16 tiger cubs in his pick-up truck while driving near the kingdom’s border with Laos.

The 52-year-old was arrested Friday afternoon in Khon Kaen province in northeastern Thailand during a routine check by authorities, who found the cats, aged between six weeks and two months, in cages in the back of the vehicle.

Police said the man was paid 15,000 baht (€400) to transport the tigers from Bangkok, but he denied knowing the identity of the animals’ owners.

“He said he only talked to them on the telephone not in person,” Lieutenant Colonel Kusol Pongbunchan, chief investigator of the local district police told AFP.

He said the driver faced charges of illegal possession and trafficking of endangered species.

The tigers, which are not thought to have been taken from the wild, were entrusted to officials of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.

Thailand, a hub of international smuggling, is one of just 13 countries hosting fragile tiger populations. Worldwide, numbers are estimated to have fallen to only 3,200 tigers from approximately 100,000 a century ago.

Abandoned tiger cubs adopted by Shar Pei

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