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Fake stamps seized in forest raid

Dec 05. 2018
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By The Nation

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A forest crime suppression task force under the Forest Protection Operations Centre (FPOC) raided a sawmill in Ang Thong province on Tuesday in a crackdown on the smuggling of hardwoods out of the country using forged documents.

The team, comprising police, forest officers and security officers, said they seized 42 teak logs from the sawmill and arrested a man called Sia Yuth, selling teak to the mill.

The logs lacked the required stamps and documents from Loei province in the northeast were forged, the task force said. 

The FPOC has been trying to break international logging gangs and late last year managed to intercept padauk being transported out of the country using fake documents. 

The fake documents from Loei led to the arrest of the man yesterday (Tuesday) using the similar tactic.

Teak must be authorised for logging by the authorities before being transported with official documents. Officers said they found fake stamps on the documents during the raid.

The force would expand investigations to pursue those responsible for the smuggling, said Cheewapap Cheewatham, chief of Phayai Prai task force.

Rosewood is often the main target but has become harder to find, meaning demand for padauk and teak has grown.

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