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Teak on ex-MP's land 'cleared'

Officials are preparing to release teak boards and logs found on a former MP's land in Chiang Mai last week back to their owner after they were shown to have been legally acquired.

The former MP is Yodchanan Wongsawat, son of former prime minister Somchai and a nephew of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Yodchana's mother Yaowapha is also an influential national politician.

Suthep Pavareswityaral, director of the Forest Resource Management Office 1, said yesterday that suspicion was aroused because the owner did not file a report to his office about moving the wood. "In fact, the owner must notify us," he said.

A local contractor, Sombat Phromsane, produced permits for transporting the wood, which he said he bought from a villager in Tak district and stored at the Wongsawat compound for four months, as he was planning to build a house with it. He said he borrowed the compound through his connection with a housemaid of Yaowapa.

Officials from Tak have already showed up to reassure authorities that the teak came from an old house in the western province. "The house was disassembled and transported out of Tak. I can testify to that," said Boonrak Fak-orn, an official whose mark is imprinted on the logs and boards.






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