Thai authorities have arrested 15 Cambodians who were hired to transport luxury timber cut by Thai loggers in Sakeo province’s Watthana Nakhon district inside the Pang Sida National Park.
The National Police reported that on Thursday morning, 30 Thai soldiers, park officials and Forestry Administration officials surrounded Pang Sida National Park to prevent a group of smugglers carrying the cut timber out of the area.
The report said 16 people were caught carrying timber logs on their backs out of the park. Fifteen of them were Cambodian.
Authorities seized 43 logs, six homemade rifles, and a number of marijuana plants, the report added.
The Cambodian border authority said that they were not aware of the arrests yet.
Neth Sam Ath, deputy chief of Cambodian-Thai Border Coordination Office, said that he was not aware of the case.
“I need to check with my officers first before I can do anything,” he said.
Last month, six Cambodians who illegally entered Pang Sida National Park were arrested over an illegal logging operation.
The six had been hired by a Thai broker to carry timber from the forest to Poipet at a rate of $6 per kilogram.