September 23, 2013 08:20:48 GMT
Two people who allegedly peddle protected species are arrested after Rihanna shared a selfie with an endangered animal which was taken during a vacation in Thailand.
Two local people have been arrested after authorities in Thailand noticed that Rihanna took a picture with a loris, a squirrel-like animal which is native of Southeast Asia and is a protected animal, during her trip to the island of Phuket. Rihanna, who was having a vacation in the country, uploaded the photo to her Instagram account on September 20.
The selfie shows her wearing sunglasses while a loris perched on her shoulder. "Look who was talkin dirty to me! #Thailand #nightlife," she wrote. Thanks to the selfie, two men aged 20 and 16 were arrested by local authorities. The pair could be charged with possession of protected animals, which carries penalties of up to four years behind bars and a $1,300 fine. Authorities confiscated two lorises from the individuals and the animals would be sent back to a national park.
"Phuket authorities were alerted to the picture (of Rihanna), and last night police arrested the two individuals who brought out the loris as a photo opportunity for tourists," a Phuket district chief Weera Kerdsirimongkon told the Associated Press on Sunday, September 22.
Awat Nithikul, leader of the patrol officers, told The Phuket News about the raid, "It is very difficult to do the raids because the touts have spies. If someone hears that the police are coming their way, there will be a person who calls the touts and tells them to move. But this is a big deal because it might affect Thailand's reputation."
Rihanna took many pictures from her vacation in Thailand. She shared some photos of her and a group of elephants on the same date. "They all hail Empress when She walk by," she captioned one photo.