SAKON NAKHON, Feb 28 – Large number of protected Siamese rosewood logs estimated to be worth about Bt5 million were confiscated in varied locations of Thailand’s northeastern provinces as wood smuggling rings were preparing to transport them to neighbouring countries.
Local police said Friday that 96 Siamese rosewood logs worth more than Bt1 million were seized and a suspect was arrested on Ban Ko Noi-Ko Yai Road in Sakhon Nakhon’s Kut Bak district.
Suspect Woravit Saranee, 32, was arrested with the logs hidden in a pickup truck. Mr Woravit said he bought the logs in Kut Bak district and was heading to sell them in neighbouring countries.
Mr Worawit said he had smuggled logs several times as there was high demand for the rare wood in neighbouring countries. Arrested twice during the past years, this time he was charged with illegal possession of protected plant species.
Sakon Nakhon police today also arrested Theerawut Salangsing, 21, with nine large Siamese rosewood logs and processed Burmese rosewood logs valued altogether at about Bt500,000. He said he was hired to smuggle logs from Non Somboon village in Khamcha-i district of Mukdahan province to send to neibouring countries.
Meanwhile, up to 26 two-metre logs of Siamese rosewood were confiscated in Ubon Ratchathani. Logs valued at an estimated Bt2 million were seized when the authorities chased a van on Ban Khok Yai Road. As it entered Huay Kha sub district of Buntharik district, the driver stopped, abandoned the vehicle and fled.
In a separate operation, police confiscated 37 Siamese rosewood logs 1.50 metres long and worth almost Bt2 million. They were found hidden in a pick-up truck parked in the bush near Ban Nongmeg village in Ubon Ratchathani’s Buntharik district.