Breaking! Thai Wildlife Trafficking ‘Kingpin’ Boonchai Bach Found Not Guilty By Judge After Key Witness Changes His Story

In a questionable move this week by the Samut Prakan Provincial Court in Thailand, notorious wildlife trafficker Boonchai Bach was cleared of multiple charges after the sole witness in the case changed his testimony.

Counter-trafficking organization Freeland Foundation, which has long researched and supplied police with information about the wildlife trafficker and his illegal syndicate called “Hydra,” took to social media to share the appalling news that Bach will pay no fine nor will he spend any time in prison.

As previously reported by WAN, Boonchai Bach was apprehended by Thai police last January where he was held in connection to the illicit trafficking of 14 rhino horns from Africa into Thailand in early December 2017.

While the judge recognized the information provided by Freeland, much to the organization’s dismay, she focused primarily on the prosecution’s weak link between the December 2017 arrests and Bach when making her decision.

“There is adequate incriminating information on Hydra and Boonchai on the December 2017 case and others, but it sits in government silos and with us,” Steven Galster, Founder of Freeland noted in a post on the organization’s Facebook page. “Prosecution of a complex transnational organized crime case like this requires a multi-agency effort to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together. Instead, we saw a Kingpin walk free today after a narrowly focused case fell apart when the prosecution’s only major witness flipped in front of his boss.”

Most-likely the witness felt threatened to share what he knows in court, especially in front of a noted criminal like Bach.

Sadly, whether it involves quietly paying someone off, or spoken and unspoken threats, outcomes in cases such as this are often tainted by influences other than the facts.

“This is one of the biggest wildlife crooks ever caught in history, but in the end, the case was low profile and treated like a parking ticket. We applaud the officers who worked hard to make the arrests over a year ago,” continued Galster. “We hope the Thai government will appeal this verdict and approach and prepare for such major wildlife trafficking cases for what they are: transnational organized crime and money laundering.”

Bach has been suspected of supervising an extensive syndicate responsible for trafficking large quantities of poached elephant ivory, rhino horn, pangolins, tigers, lions, and other rare and endangered species for more than a decade.

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