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Police arrest Russian who decorated restaurant with corals

PHOTO: MGR Online

The owner of a restaurant in Rawai, on Phuket’s southeast coast, has been arrested for using protected corals as decoration. The 46 year old man, a Russian national, was detained by the authorities on Friday, June 14, according to a Phuket Express report.

The arrest was the result of a tip-off to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources that a restaurant in Rawai was using protected corals as decoration. Officials from the DMCR, accompanied by the Phuket Tourist Police and officers from Chalong Police, arrived at the restaurant shortly after.

It’s understood the owner presented himself to the authorities and confirmed the corals were his. In total, officers seized 50 protected corals from the venue, informing the owner that they had been listed as protected under the Wild Animal Conservation and Protection Act and it was therefore illegal to possess them without legal permission.

PHOTO: MGR Online

The restaurant owner was then taken to Chalong Police Station for legal processing. The authorities have not confirmed his name or that of his restaurant, nor is it clear where he obtained the corals.

The current penalty for anyone found in violation of section 17 of the Wild Animal Conservation and Protection Act is a fine of up to 500,000 baht and/or a prison term of up to 5 years.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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