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Big-wigs 'threaten park rangers'

Many government officials and influential figures go on illegal hunting trips to Kaeng Krachan National Park and threaten rangers trying to stop them, the park's chief warden said.

"So I have to accompany lower-ranking officials when I hear about such hunting trips," chief warden Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn said yesterday.

He said he wants to ease the pressure on his subordinates who sometimes faced transfer threats and even death threats.

"Some officials, when faced with such threats, dare not make arrests," he said after testifying to Pol Lt-Colonel Konlayut Wongpetch, an inspector at the Kaeng Krachan Police Station, over the recent arrest of nine illegal hunters inside the national park.

"We have proceeded in line with legal procedures and evidence," he said.

The nine suspects include Pol Lt-Colonel Thirayut Katemangmee, an inspector at the Pran Buri Police Station in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Thirayut has denied any wrongdoing, saying he just went on a hike and came across the hunters.

Konlayut said the Forensic Science Office would check the guns seized from the suspect to determine whether Thirayut was engaged in hunting.

"The examination will take some time," he said.


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