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Evidence sought to link pair to illegal logging

The Anti-Money Laundering Office and police are collecting more evidence against two alleged financiers of illegal rosewood logging operations in Nakhon Ratchasima and Chaiyaphum in a move to seize more than Bt200 million worth of assets.

Kampanart Chaimart and Nida Wongsai allegedly own 26 vehicles, 24 luxury estates and Bt6 million in cash, officials said yesterday during a raid of their premises in Chaiyaphum.

The pair were arrested carrying Bt4.7 million in cash on a trip to allegedly buy rosewood in the Khao Yai forest area of Korat last Tuesday. They were charged with attempting to bribe officials after they offered the officials Bt1.5 million.

In Mae Hong Son, Mae La Noi district authorities and soldiers are checking on the massive felling of teak trees following a recent confrontation with villagers, who fought against the plan to search for illegally harvested wood in the area.

The locals from 107 ethnic-Karen households blocked the road to their village, saying each family had legally acquired 40 teak logs to build their homes. However, authorities said the logs were far too large for them to have acquired them.


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