Thai police seize 16 'illegal' elephants from tourist areas
BANGKOK (AFP) - Thai police said on Wednesday that they had seized 16 elephants from tourist destinations as part of a nationwide swoop on operators suspected of using smuggled wild pachyderms for entertainment.
The animals were removed on Tuesday and Wednesday from camps in the southern and eastern resort areas of Ko Chang, Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, which are popular with holidaymakers, said Police Colonel Watcharin Phoosit, from the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division.
A further planned raid on Friday is expected to seize 10 more elephants from Kanchanaburi in the west, central Chonburi and the north-eastern provinces of Surin and Chaiyaphum.
"If the mission is successfully completed on Friday, it will be the biggest seizure we have ever had - 26 elephants in total," Mr Watcharin told AFP.