11 July 2024

Five men were arrested by park rangers last night (Friday) as they tried to smuggle Phayung (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) timber out of Khao Yai National Park in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima.

A team of park rangers was dispatched to Khao Look Chang in Ban Kut Khla in the park yesterday afternoon, after they were informed that a group of suspected loggers was heading towards Phayung trees, or Thai rosewood, which is a protected species.

The team set out on foot at about 4pm and laid in wait, where they could monitor the six suspects without being noticed. At about 10.30pm, three suspects used to push cart to haul the timber away and the park rangers broke cover to make the arrests. Three of the suspects attempted to flee.

Park rangers managed, however, to apprehend five of them, with the sixth successfully evading arrest. They seized seven rosewood planks and two logs, worth about 260,000 baht.

A Khao Yai National Park official said that the seized timber consisted of old planks and logs which were cut and left in the forest by illegal loggers some time ago and the group had gone to collect them.

Nonetheless, the five arrested suspects still face charges of forest intrusion and illegal possession of prohibited timber. They were all taken to Mu Si police station in Pak Chong district for detention and questioning.