By Prasit Tangprasert
Thap Lan National Park’s chief Prawatsart Chanthep on Sunday released a video clip of the incident, which took place in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Wang Nam Khiao district.
In the video, two gunshots are heard as vehicles suddenly speed away, followed by more gunshots as officials tried to blow out the tyres of the vehicles driven by the runaway suspects.
“At about 8pm on Friday, we detected via our Network Centric Anti-Poaching System that men were illegally cutting down Siamese Rosewood trees near the Sakaerat Silvicultural Research Station,” Prawatsart said.
He said officials ambushed four vehicles arrived at the area, apparently to transport the logs at 5am on Saturday.
Officials then arrested Saming Sornkornburi, Tian Traimeesaeng and Settawut Ken-in and confiscated two sports utility vehicles and four Siamese Rosewood logs.
Their alleged accomplices, however, managed to flee in two other vehicles.
“We are interrogating the suspects in detention,” Prawatsart said.
He said he suspected that the illegal loggers might be backed by influential figures because they had dared to open fire at officials to make the escape.