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Video News: Two arrested on Koh Samui, three gibbons rescued

Samui police have arrested two men and seized three gibbons after a clip showing a man letting foreign tourists take photos with the gibbons in exchange for money led to an outpouring of anger on Facebook.

Ruangwit Aolueknoi, 23, and Ismail Thalang, 35, were arrested at their rented house in Tambon Borphud at 5pm Wednesday.

Pol Col Thongchana Harnkittikanchana, acting Borphud police chief, ordered an investigation after an expatriate, Arkadiy Kulev, posted a clip on the Samui “Rent & Buy & Sell For Free” Facebook group late Tuesday night.

The clip showed one of the suspects approaching foreign tourists and offering to let them hold and cuddle the gibbons for a photo in exchange for a fee of Bt100 to Bt200, prompting many people to cry foul on the Facebook page.

Two gibbons were found in a cage at Ruangwit’s house and the other was seized from Ismail.

Ismail admitted that he was the man in the clip, which was shot two days before the arrest. He said he bought the gibbons from a man in Ranong.

The two men have been charged with having protected wild animals in their possession without a license. The three gibbons were given to national park officials who will take charge of caring for them.


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