11 July 2024

An investigation has been ordered into the source of money paid into the bank accounts of a female official of the Forest Department, who is alleged to be connected with a large quantity of illegal Burma Padauk (Pterucarpus macrocarpus) lumber, found at a sawmill in Doi Saket district in Chiang Mai.

The illegal lumber is thought to have originated in the Huai Phueng-Wang Yao protected forest, in Nam Pat district of Uttaradit province. With the help of miniature transmitters, embedded in the Burma Padauk trees, forest officials used GPS to track the wood to the mill.

Natural Resources and Environment Permanent Secretary Jatuporn Buruspat said that, even though the forestry official has tendered her resignation, she will still face criminal litigation and disciplinary action.

In his capacity as vice chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Office, he said that he had ordered a probe into the sources of the money, in a bid to identify the mastermind behind the haul of illegal lumber.