Thai cats used to launder drug money auctioned to ‘Kingdom of Tigers’

Nutch Prasopsin holds a bengal cat today, at left. At right, some of the kitties as they were discovered earlier this year. Original images: Kingdom of Tigers, Thai PBS
Nutch Prasopsin holds a bengal cat today, at left. At right, some of the kitties as they were discovered earlier this year. Original images: Kingdom of Tigers, Thai PBS

A woman whose stable of celeb cats commands a large online audience entered the winning bid for six fancy felines suspected of laundering drug money today.

Nutch Prasopsin, the woman behind internet cat page Kingdom of Tigers, outbid all others by spending THB100,000 (US$3,186) for the six purebreds – including Bengals and Scottish Folds – who had been seized as evidence in a raid on a home linked to an accused drug kingpin. 

Some of her three million followers appeared to foot the bill, according to donation slips posted to the page.

Nutch was among nine bidders who showed up at the Narcotics Control Board’s local office in Rayong’s Klaeng district. The auction reportedly took only seven minutes once bidding opened at THB90,000.

“Please rest assured. I and our team are cat-lovers and we will take care of them best, starting from sterilizing and vaccinating them first,” Nutch said after the auction.

Over the years, Nutch has built an empire of internet cat fame by tirelessly promoting them online. She’s been accused of exploiting the animals for her own fame and profit, especially after she rescued/catnapped what was Bangkok’s best known stray in 2013 and began carrying him around to “fan events.”

Still, she has also increased awareness about their wellbeing and raised sums for charities.

The cats acquired today were recovered in March from cages during a raid on the home of Achara Namnin, a fugitive sought in connection with her husband Sorakrit Sonsiri, who is behind bars and accused of heading a large regional drug network.

The authorities said the expensive animals were likely a means of laundering the narcotics syndicate’s loot. They were left at the home which was abandoned just prior to the raid.

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Kitties are now being used to launder Thailand’s dirty drug money

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CITY: BANGKOKCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: ANIMALS, CRIME

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