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Thailand Finds Stolen Coral | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man snorkels in an area called the “Coral Gardens” near Lady Elliot Island, on the Great Barrier Reef, northeast of Bundaberg town in Queensland, Australia, June 11, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

Bangkok- An official in the Thai Marine and Coastal Resources Department said a mass of corals that was stolen from a tourism island in Thailand, has been found submerged in the sea when a group of tourists embarked in a diving trip in the island of Koh Wiang earlier this week.

According to the German News Agency, this mass is composed of giant and very old two-meter width corals that weigh 500 kg. Local trip organizers suggest that the coral could have taken over 1,000 years to grow.

Koh Wiang Island is located in the Gulf of Thailand in Chumphon province (460 km southeast of Bangkok), and lures many diving enthusiasts.

The official said the massive coral was found based on a tip-off. The coral was drowned deep in the sea, probably because the thieves failed in steeling it due to its heavy weight.

Although many corals have been stolen in Thailand in the past, this is the first time they target such a heavy and old coral, he added.

Although marine patrols have been intensified, capturing thieves of corals is still a though process, given that they constantly change the sites they target.