By The Nation
The NCAPS (Network-Centric Anti-Poaching System) cameras proved its usefulness, picking up the activity and triggering the arrests just as the alleged timber thieves were about to make off with 80 processed planks of Siamese rosewood in their backpacks.
A 50-strong team of police and park officials made the arrests at 9.30pm, an hour after the NCAPS alert came in.
Officials claimed the Cambodians confessed to having sneaked across the border into Sa Kaew province along with 36 other compatriots.
They said they’d been hired to transport timber that a Cambodian investor had bought from a Thai investor and were to be paid Bt250 per kilogram for as much wood as they could smuggle out.
A park source said some of the nine suspects had been arrested for the same offence before, but due to a lack of evidence had been simply sent back to Cambodia.
Siamese rosewood, valued as a hardwood, is a threatened species. Conservationists have warned it could be extinct in Southeast Asia by 2026.