The Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division and the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plants raided two houses on Bang Na - Trat Road, that kept for sale 15 protected birds and hundreds of marine wildlife.

The raid, conducted at the houses in Bangplee District under the Samut Prakan Court's search warrant, followed a complaint that the houses were kept protected animals illegally.

In the first house, several hundreds of marine animals, suspected of being endangered species, were found along with a large cage containing 2 Hornbills, which are rare and protected birds.

The house owner, Surin Arparatwilai, said that he had been bred marine animals for sales for over 40 years, exporting them mostly to Japan. He also claimed that he has the appropriate license for owning the rare birds.

In the other raid, authorities found more than 30 cages of exotic birds, 7 Red Whiskered Bulbuls, 2 Phasianidae, and 6 Turnicidae. The latter 2 are considered protected species under the 1992 wildlife protection law.

The house keeper, Surapon Puphalee, said that the house, as well as all of the animals, is owned by Tongsuk Juuprajak, an elder brother of Mr. Surin. All of the birds found there were to be sold to local and foreign customers.

Officials said that only Mr. Surapon was to be charged with illegally possessing protected animals, adding that further investigations will be conducted to determine whether or not the marine animals are protected.

-News from NNT