Man arrested with protected phayung wood

A park ranger shows a pick-up truck, laden with phayung wood, seized in Watthan Nakhon district of Sa Kaeo on Sunday. (Photo by Sawat Ketngam)

SA KAEO - A man was arrested at his house in Watthana Nakhon district on Sunday morning in possession of a large quantity of protected 'phayung' wood, or Siamese rosewood.

The arrest of Opas Pongprasert, 54, was made after officials of the Pang Sida National Park in Muang district followed a pick-up truck, suspected of carrying phayung wood, from Ban Huay Chan to a house in Ban Tho Sam in tambon Watthana Nakhon.

The officials were acting on the orders of Panatkorn Pothibandhit, the national park chief, following a tip-off from an informant.

Mr Opas was at the house when the officials arrived and asked him to unlock the vehicle for them to conduct a search.  He first said the pick-up belonged to someone else, but finally agreed to cooperate when the officials found the key in his shirt pocket.

The officials found about 50 pieces of phayung wood stuffed behind the front seat.

Mr Opas confessed he had been hired to deliver the wood to Ban Tho Sam in Watthana Nakhon district, they said.

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