Thai authorities have arrested two men accused of trying to smuggle tiger bones and meat to Vietnam on a bus, police said Thursday.
The two suspects are Vietnamese nationals who allegedly paid around $900 for the products in Tak province on the Myanmar border, and planned to sell them back home for consumption.
Nattawat Wingthongtavipon from Muang Phitsanulok police station told AFP that the men were arrested late Wednesday in Phitsanulok province after a tip-off.
“We found the guys…with an oversize bag, and the inside was stuffed with the smoked carcass and meat of a tiger, which they confessed were destined for Vietnam,” Nattawat said.
The men were charged with possession of a protected species and are in police custody.
Across the region tiger populations have been decimated due to poaching.
Thailand is a popular hub for the multibillion-dollar illegal wildlife market and is also one of several countries in Southeast Asia — including Vietnam — where activists say tiger breeding farms have contributed to the trade in the animal’s parts.
Around 30 percent of tiger products seized between 2012 and 2015 were suspected to originate from captive tigers compared to just two percent between 2000 and 2003, according to a study by the NGO Traffic.
In 2016 the kingdom made international headlines after police raided its infamous Tiger Temple, a tourist site accused of links to the trade.
Animal rights groups have also decried the use of tigers in amusement parks where they are prodded to pose for photos with tourists.
In Vietnam, tiger bones are boiled down and used for traditional medicine, while stuffed tigers, teeth, claws or tiger skin is used for decoration or jewelry.
Baby tigers and tiger parts are also steeped in wine in some areas.
Vietnam is notorious for the consumption of illegal wildlife parts and as a popular transport route for animals destined for China and other parts of Asia.
© 2018 AFP
Iran and US trade barbs after drone incident and ahead of new sanctions
The United States on Monday was due to tighten sanctions on Iran as the two countries traded barbs in a tense standoff sparked by Washington's withdrawal from a nuclear deal.
Both nations say they want to avoid going to war, but tensions have spiralled as a series of incidents, including attacks on tankers and the shooting down of a US drone by Iran in the Gulf, raised fears of an unintended slide towards conflict.
On Sunday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a US-made MQ9 Reaper "spy drone" -- also widely used for carrying out military strikes -- had encroached his country's airspace on May 26.
John Oliver warns Trump didn’t have an ‘Ebenezer Scrooge moment’ deciding to be ‘good’ — he’s still Trump
The best thing you can say about Donald Trump is that he "maybe hasn't eaten a dolphin before," John Oliver joked on his Sunday episode of "Last Week Tonight."
Oliver warned people that while Trump had a "change of heart" about Iran it was only about Iran. "He didn't have an Ebenezer Scrooge moment, threw open a window and yelled, 'I'm going to be good from now on!'" the host explained. "No, he just didn't bomb some people."
As Fox News explained, the drown that Iran shot down was not simply one from Amazon. Oliver said it wasn't like Trump said, "Alexa, send a drone to surveil Iran." According to Fox's genius analysis, those drones cost actual money.
Donald Trump’s biggest regret is choosing Jeff Sessions as his attorney general
In an interview that aired on Sunday, President Donald Trump told "Meet the Press" that his biggest regret is choosing Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general.
"If you could have one do-over as president, what would it be?" NBC host Chuck Todd asked Trump during their interview.
This article first appeared at Salon.com.After the president replied that his do over would involve "personnel," he elaborated that "I would say if I had one do over, it would be, I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be attorney general." When Todd asked Trump to clarify if he thought appointing Sessions was his "worst mistake," the president reiterated "yeah, that was the biggest mistake." He added that Sessions is "very talented" but was cut off by a new line of questioning from Todd before he could elaborate.