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Wood to be returned if Abbot can prove legal origin, says task force head

The Abbot of a Kanchanaburi temple where a large quantity of suspected illegally processed wood was found has one month to present relevant documents to prove the origin of the wood, said Chaiwat Likitaksorn, chief of the special task force responsible for addressing the destruction of natural resources yesterday.

The task force confiscated the wood during a December 7 raid and has held it since.
 If the submitted documents proved that Metthatham Pothiyan Temple in Muang district legally obtained the wood, his task force would return it to the temple, Chaiwat said.
However if not, Phra Yen Mong, the abbot and the temple will face serious legal action.
Chaiwat, who heads the Phraya Sua task force under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, was speaking after examining the wood inside the temple.
He said that about 1,167 cubic metres of wood had been seized, comprised of 37 wood blocks and 6,360 wood planks. Earlier reports claimed that the wood found at the temple has an estimated value of about Bt1 billion.

Published : December 10, 2017