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Some of the hundreds of plundered starfish, among  Phuket's treasures

Killer Crash Twist Exposes Phuket Coral Reef Plunderer

Saturday, February 5, 2011
A FATAL crash that killed a motorcyclist on Phuket last night also exposed the man driving the deadly pickup as a poacher who had stolen hundreds of precious marine creatures from Phuket's coral reefs.

Only today, after fleeing the scene of the fatal crash about midnight, did the man surrender to police at Chalong, in southern Phuket.

Police were hot on his trail anyway because of detective work by Paitoon Planchaiyabhum, Director of Phuket's Centre for Marine Preservation, who recognised the pickup as one that had been previously involved in coral fish smuggling.

He was called to the crash scene in Chao Fa Road West, between Vichit and Chalong, by police after they found hundreds of protected marine creatures in the rear of the vehicle early today.

With relatives mourning the man who was killed in the crash, the marine creatures were being cared for and counted at Phuket's Marine Biology Centre, on the east coast.

Among the haul were 400 starfish, 30 seahorses, 30 sea urchins, ''Nemo'' coral reef fish and dozens of exotic fish that are usually only found below 60 metres. Biologists were also caring for 200 hermit crabs.

The stolen haul was a shock indication that the preservation of Phuket's precious marine creatures requires much greater vigilance and does not rest alone on banning tourists from some popular dive sites because of coral bleaching.

The man in the pickup had been charged last year over stealing marine creatures from Koh He and Koh Aew, Khun Paitoon told Phuketwan today.

Officers were still interviewing the man about the fatal crash and his poaching exploits late today.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Is it not a crime to leave the scene of a crime in Thailand? I read all the time about people fleeing the scene of a crash. In Australia I know this adds on to any sentence you might receive, is this not the same in Thailand?

Posted by Bronson on February 5, 2011 23:42

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I would like to know what the fine / punishment was for his last arrest.

Posted by GiantFan on February 6, 2011 13:20


Wednesday December 7, 2022
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