PHUKET: Police broke up a cockfighting match near a rubber plantation in central Phuket yesterday, arresting 16 men and confiscating two roosters and 220 baht found at the scene.
The number of men attending the matches had grown steadily over the past few weeks, causing local residents to complain to police, who sent an undercover agent to discover the time and place of future matches.
At 4:30pm yesterday, the officers raided the match in a forest in Pa Khlok, on Phuket’s central east coast.
“We arrived at the scene and found about 50 people watching the fight. They were having a good time, shouting and placing bets,” said Thalang Police Deputy Superintendent Amnuay Kraiwutthianun.
A large proportion of the group evaded capture by running away, taking the gambling money with them. Police were left with the 16 men, the two roosters that had been fighting and 220 baht left behind. They are continuing to investigate the identities of the escaped gamblers.
The arrested gamblers face up to three months in jail, a fine of between 500 to 1,000 baht, or both.
Although gambling on animal contests – or any other activity – is illegal in Thailand, animal contests themselves are legal, provided the animals are not “abused”.
Cockfighting is legal up to the point where authorities believe that the harm inflicted during the fight constitutes “abuse”.