Illegal logging gang caught in Thai wildlife reserve, drugs found
Authorities in Phayao, northern Thailand, yesterday arrested a group involved in illegal logging and seized various items, including processed timber and amphetamines. The suspects were apprehended in the Wiang Lor Wildlife Sanctuary in the province’s Choon district.
Officials from the 15th Conservation Area Administration Office received a report from Thanatphatcha PrasomSap, the director of the wildlife conservation section, on the group’s illicit activities. A patrol unit was dispatched to monitor the area and prevent any further illegal logging incidents. The officers spotted motorbike lights moving through the forest area of Huay Maw, triggering a stakeout.
As five motorcycles emerged from the Huay Maw forest, the officers revealed themselves and attempted to detain the suspects. However, the group attempted to flee, with authorities managing to capture three of them, while two others escaped in the darkness.
Upon a thorough inspection of the area, the following evidence was discovered: five motorcycles, seven pieces of processed Siamese rosewood totalling a volume of 0.2m³, three chainsaws, and 29 methamphetamine pills. The suspects, along with the confiscated items, were turned over to the Choon Police Station in Phayao for further legal proceedings.
In related news, in December last year, police arrested a forest ranger and four of his friends for illegal logging in Khon Kaen province in northeast Thailand.
The gang cut down protected and valuable species such as Siamese rosewood and Burmese padauk.
The police’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) recently travelled to Khon Kaen’s Nong Ruea district to arrest some illegal immigrants working on a sugarcane plantation.
Locals informed the ATPD officers that a group of men were spotted cutting down valuable trees in the forest. Locals said the group would ask the locals whether they could buy the trees from them. When the locals said no, the men snuck onto the land and cut down the trees anyway, they said. Read the full story here.
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