Wildlife officials, including a national park chief, have been accused of helping Cambodian gangs to fell phayung trees in protected forests for export to China.
The Department of Special Investigation claims the officials were virtually "awarding Cambodians a concession to cut the trees" in a national park near Phanom Dong Rak Wildlife Sanctuary in Si Sa Ket province.
Pol Maj Suriya Singhakamon, chief of the DSI's consumer protection office, claimed the illegal logging was aided by some soldiers and police officers turning a blind eye to Cambodians illegally entering Thai forests. They allowed them to take the phayung, also known as Siamese rosewood, out of the country.
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