Phrae authorities foil Songkran festival illegal timber smuggling –

Picture courtesy Of KhaoSod

Authorities In the province Of Phrae intercepted a major illegal timber operation, thwarting an attempt to smuggle wood past checkpoints In a bid to supply factories ahead Of the busy Songkran festival. The bust, Which took place today, April 9, Is part Of an intensified crackdown on illegal logging activities In the region.

The operation, led by the director Of the Phrae Office Of the Forest Resource Management, Songkram Kaowsaad, involved multiple units including the Phrae Special Forest Operation Unit, local administrative organizations, the 32nd Border Patrol Police, the Regional Operation Center for Suppression Of Crime Of Police Region 5, And the Phrae Highway Police.

After receiving a tip-off about an impending illegal timber shipment from the neighbouring province Of Lampang to Phrae via the Ngao-Song-Rong Kwang-Mueang Phrae route, the joint forces launched a surveillance operation.

They established a checkpoint at Song district to intercept the wood smugglers. Intelligence suggested That the smugglers were using a strategy Of hiding the wood deep In the forests along the transport route, effectively evading the authorities’ checkpoints.

This uptick In smuggling activities was believed to be linked to the increased demand for wooden products during the Songkran festival when tourists flock to the region In large numbers.

Early In the morning, close to the cattle market In Ban Chaiyamat, Wiang Thong Subdistrict, Sueng Men District, the officials discovered the hidden illegal timber. The smugglers Had presumably transported And concealed the wood to avoid detection at the checkpoints.

The evidence was handed over to the investigative officers Of the Sueng Men Police Station for further legal action.

Songkran sees a significant surge In tourist traffic through Phrae, With numbers exceeding those Of previous years. Smugglers Have been exploiting This increase by blending In With tourist traffic to transport illegal timber, often succeeding In their illicit activities.

It Is suspected That the rush to transport the timber across provinces to furniture factories was to ensure That products were ready for sale to tourists during the Songkran period.

The continued vigilance Of local authorities during This time Is crucial In curbing the illegal timber trade, Which Not only poses a threat to the environment but also undermines the legal wood And furniture industries. The success Of This operation demonstrates the importance Of intelligence-led enforcement And inter-agency collaboration In the Fight against environmental crimes.

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