National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department deputy chief Theerapat Prayurasiddhi yesterday said Thailand and its neighbours were identified as wildlife trafficking "hotspots" in the latest Asean-WEN situation report, which was released yesterday.
Asean-WEN involves police, customs and environment agencies from all 10 Asean countries _ Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.
According to the report, 386 cases of wildlife trafficking were uncovered in 2011 with 38,895 live animals and 36,109 carcasses, weighing about 94.68 tonnes seized.
The number of cases had increased dramatically from 2010 when 132 cases of wildlife trafficking were found involving with 24,740 live animals and 74,183 carcasses.
Mr Theerapat yesterday held a press conference to give an update on the wildlife trafficking situation in the region ahead of the 8th meeting of the Asean-WEN authorities in Chiang Mai from tomorrow until Thursday.
About 150 Asean officials will attend the meeting.
Mr Theerapat said the delegates are expected to discuss the enforcement of regional regulations to curb wildlife trafficking and to facilitate wildlife, customs and police officers' operations in suppressing the trade.
He said Thailand would continue to work with the network in order to "stamp out wildlife crime, which is linked to terrorism and drug trafficking".