Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL -

CRIME: Au­thor­i­ties have ar­rested seven peo­ple al­legedly in­volved in a net­work that poached pro­tected phayung, or Si­amese rose­wood, trees in Buri Ram and nearby provinces.

The first sus­pect, Pati­pan Pase, 21, was ap­pre­hended dur­ing a raid at a house in tam­bon Nong Bon of Prakhon Chai district on Thurs­day, ac­cord­ing to Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Re­gion 3 com­mis­sioner Pool­sap Prasert­sak.

A big haul of phayung logs was found in a bush close to the house, Pol Lt Gen Pool­sap said.

The ar­rest led to the ap­pre­hen­sion of an­other six sus­pects.

He also said 22 peo­ple were be­lieved to be as­so­ci­ated with the syn­di­cate.

A man­hunt is un­der way for the re­main­ing 15.

He said the group poached phayung in schools, tem­ples and pub­lic parks at night in Buri Ram and nearby provinces.

A com­mit­tee will be set up to probe whether state of­fi­cials were in­volved.

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