The Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation is seeking police assistance to locate the mastermind behind an illegal timber case in the North. Yesterday, forest officials seized 401 wooden logs valued at 20.6 million baht.
Attapol Charoenchansa, the department's acting chief, said he asked his team to keep a close eye on any indications that trees were being illegally felled in the region, after he received a tip-off from a source claiming a local gangster engaged in this trade had entered a zone where hunting animals is banned.
The zone ranges from Pa-Huay Phueng-Wang Yao in Uttaradit's Nam Pad district to Chiang Mai's Doi Saket district.
The area is a source of precious timber including Paduak wood.
The forest team patrolled the suspected area to gather more information. They found a pile of Paduak wood in the protected zone in Uttaradit province.
"The team later attached a GPS tracker to follow the movement of the illegal timber, which was first moved to a warehouse in the province and then another one in Chiang Mai on Thursday," Mr Attapol said.
The team raided the warehouse and found the 401 wooden logs totalling 198.12 cubic metres in volume.
"We are seeking more cooperation with the police to find the mastermind behind the case. We believe there is a network here dealing in illegal timber, causing huge damage to our natural resources," he said.