Six Cambodians who illegally entered Pang Sida National Park in Thailand’s Sakeo province have been arrested for involvement in an illegal logging operation.
According to the Facebook page of the national park, officers received a tip-off about the logging on Thursday.
Thai forces found a stash of wood that had been hidden and waited for the suspects to collect it.
The following evening, about 20 people arrived in two pick-ups.
Forces managed to arrest six of the group, all Cambodians, as well as seize one of the pick-ups, 26 pieces of timber and a number of chainsaws. The rest of the suspects escaped in the other pick-up.
The National Police reported the six suspects had been hired by a Thai broker to carry the timber from the forest to Poipet at a rate of 200 baht ($6) per kilogram.
They said they were only responsible for transporting the timber, and not for chopping it down.
Major General Pich Vanna, deputy chief of the Cambodian-Thai Coordination Office, said the suspects were sent to Mueang Sa Kaeo district police office.
“I assigned forces to go there to inquire about their illegal entry and asked the Thai authorities for understanding. The Cambodians were in the wrong for going on to their land to take the wood,” he said.
Separately, Thai authorities repatriated five Cambodians to Oddar Meanchey province on Sunday.
They had been imprisoned in Thailand since December 2015 for illegally entering Sisaket province to carry out illegal logging.
Hing Thoeng, Trapaing Prey commune police chief, said the five signed a contract not to repeat their offences.
“We received them from the Thai authorities and we educated them not to do it again,” he said.