Two men accused of hiring people to illegally fell phayung (Siamese rosewood) trees in Trang for sale to timber merchants in Laos have been arrested in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani.
Crime Suppression Division police arrested Jitti Chantharawipak, 51, and Sak Sae Tia, 50, at their homes in Muang district of Ubon Ratchathani on Thursday, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said.
The duo were charged with theft and colluding in illegally cutting down protected phayung trees.
The arrests followed the apprehension of a group of people on Nov 13 for illegally felling phayung trees in a forest plantation in tambon Bang Mak of Kantang district in Trang. Three fully grown rosewood trees, worth about 8.8 million baht, had been cut down, police said.
The villagers told investigators they had been hired to harvest the trees for a transnational timber network. They named Mr Sak as the mastermind.
Mr Sak had hired Mr Jitti, a timber broker, to supply him with phayung logs. Mr Jitti then hired the villagers to harvest the trees in Kantang, according to police.
The arresting officers found some phayung logs at Mr Sak’s house.
Source: Bangkok Post