Police process suspected wildlife trafficker Boonchai Bach, a 40-year-old Thai of Vietnamese descent, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Tassanee Vejpongsa)
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Thai police have arrested an alleged kingpin in Asia's illegal trade in endangered species, dealing a blow to family-run syndicate that smuggles elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts to Chinese and Vietnamese dealers.Boonchai Bach, 40, a Vietnamese national with Thai citizenship, was arrested on Friday evening over the smuggling of 14 rhino horns worth around $1 million from Africa to Thailand.The town is a pivot point in Asia's wildlife trafficking chain, in part because it is the narrowest neck of land for smuggled goods to transit through Thailand, into Laos and onto Vietnam, a major market for animal parts used in traditional medicine.Freeland, a counter-trafficking organisation which works closely with Thai police, said the Bach family are part of a sprawling Southeast Asian crime organisation dubbed "Hydra".
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