Police in Thailand have launched what is believed to be the country’s first durian guarding scheme after thieves stole 1 million baht ($29,000) 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 Nation Thailand reported.
The first to sign up for the guarding scheme was a 55-year-old farmer at the Huang Nam Khao subdistrict, whose durians worth 1 million baht had gone missing.
It is unknown how much farmers are charged for the service.
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 Strait Times.
Farmers who register will receive more surveillance from the police, especially at night when the thieves are most active.
Teams of officials will patrol the areas in two shifts, 6 p.m. to midnight, and midnight till dawn. The surveillance will continue until all the durians are picked and sold, said Ariyachai.
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