Leading about 50 police, soldiers and forest rangers into the wildlife sanctuary in the compound of Ban Chong Lom village of Chang Raek sub-district from about 9am Saturday, Bang Saphan Noi district chief Somporn Patchimphet said they found Singha Supanti, a 42-year-old native of Surat Thani province, resting in a shelter deep in the wildlife sanctuary that was a catchment area. The forest around the shelter was cut down in an area of about 1,000 rai.
The man confessed that an employer hired him to cut down the forest to turn the land into a Para rubber plantation.
The authorities seized from him four guns, six shotgun shells, four communication radios and a lot of digging and cutting tools.
Mr Somporn said that authorities were tracing 12 other people who were suspected of destroying the forest together with Mr Singha.