Thai police launch durian guarding service after $39,000 fruit heist, Latest World News - The New Paper

Thai police launch durian guarding service after $39,000 fruit heist

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BANGKOK - Police in Thailand have launched what is believed to be the country’s first durian guarding scheme after thieves stole 1 million baht (S$39,100) worth of the spiky fruit from a plantation in the eastern province of Trat.

Ao Cho police station in Muang district is offering the scheme following complaints from local farmers that thieves were sneaking into their plantations at night and plundering ripe durians from the trees.

The scheme kicked off on Monday at an orchard owned by a 55-year-old farmer in Huang Nam Khao subdistrict, whose crop of durians worth nearly 1 million baht had just gone missing.

Ao Cho chief inspector Ariyachai Thima said damage from durian thefts last year in Trat was estimated at several million baht after tons of fruit went missing.

The urgency of the problem prompted police and local farmers to jointly design the fruit guarding scheme, he added.

Farmers who register will receive more surveillance from the police, especially at night when the thieves are most active, said Mr Ariyachai.

Teams of officials will patrol the areas in two shifts, 6pm to midnight, and midnight till dawn. The surveillance will continue until all the durians are picked and sold.

“We aim to provide peace of mind to farmers, who already have other things to worry about, including drought and plummeting prices,” said Mr Ariyachai. - THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK