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Three more arrests over illegal logging

Police arrested three more suspects - a village headman, his assistant and a local woman - in Nakhon Ratchasima's Soeng Sang district yesterday and seized 35 Siamese Rosewood pieces.

The arrest followed the detention of two Wang Nam Khiao district forest-patrolling officials - Apai Chadanin, 48, and Kitiphum Wihokrat, 41 - along with accomplices for alleged illegal logging of Siamese Rosewood in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex's Thap Lan National Park.

Police in Khu Muang district in Buri Ram, meanwhile, seized 40 Siamese Rosewood logs from three workers along with two chainsaws while they were cutting down three large Siamese Rosewood trees within a local temple compound in tambon Pornsawan yesterday. The men reportedly confessed to police that they were hired to cut down the trees for Bt2,000 per tree.

The abbot reportedly told police he sold the trees to an investor in Mukdahan for Bt400,000 to fund construction of a temple hall and that sale of the trees had been approved by the community at a public hearing. However, the monk was unable to present police with a land title deed for the temple, only an application for establishment of a monastic retreat.


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