UPDATE: Frenchman in Rawai charged for illegal possession of whale’s skeleton claimed seller told him it was made of wood

Rawai –

A French man who was arrested in Rawai last week for illegal possession of a whale’s skeleton claimed a seller told him it was made of wood.

Our previous story:

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) officials told the Phuket Express. They arrested Mr. Thierry Alain, 52, French national, in Rawai last week on November 21st. Seized from him were parts of the lower jaw of a Baleen Whale.

Now for the update:

Mr. Alain told officials that he bought the item from a market near Chalong. The seller told him it was made of wood. He used it to decorate the house and did not know it was a whale skeleton. Officials are trying to track down the seller.

Official used the Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) technique which has proven the “wood” is actually the lower jaw of a Baleen Whale.

Officials did not comment on if they believed the Frenchman’s story or if charges against him would possibly be dropped and instead instituted against the seller when located.


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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.