"The Crime Family At The Centre Of Asia's Animal Trafficking Network"

"Bach brothers based in Vietnam and Thailand are responsible for smuggling thousands of tonnes of elephant ivory, rhino horn and other endangered species".

"There is a simple reason why there is always trouble in Nakhon Phanom. It is the reason why the US air force came here during the Vietnam war, and the reason why this dull and dusty town in north-east Thailand now serves as a primary gateway on the global animal trafficking highway. It is all to do with geography.

Nakhon Phanom, population 30,000, sits on the western bank of the Mekong river and is directly opposite the shortest route across Laos, on the other side of the river, and into Vietnam.

For the US air force it was the closest allied territory to Hanoi, 380km (236 miles) away as the bomber flies. For the wildlife traffickers, it is the perfect place for business. To the west, Thailand has some of the best air and sea connections in South East Asia; and to the east, across the narrow strip of Laos, are the markets of Vietnam and China, bursting with the wealth of their new economies and hungry for the flesh, skin, claws and bones of exotic wildlife."

Nick Davies and Oliver Holmes reports for the Guardian September 26, 2016.


"Animal Trafficking: The $23Bn Criminal Industry Policed By A Toothless Regulator" (Guardian)

"Revealed: The Criminals Making Millions From Illegal Wildlife Trafficking" (Guardian)

Source: Guardian, 09/27/2016