Several complaints were made via social media channels which prompted Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew to send a special operations group to inspect the area in Wichit yesterday (Dec 3).
The group, led by Akara Suwattikul from the Phuket Provincial Protection agency, discovered an area where many trees had been illegally removed.
Mr Akara was joined at the site at Tang Khen Bay by officers from the Phuket Mangrove Resource Management Center and the Forest Protection and Preservation Division, Royal Thai Police officers and the local village chief from Ban Laem Panwa who were tasked with investigating the residents’ complaints further.
After questioning several local residents it was revealed that there was a group of 3-4 people who had been cutting down the trees on Nov 26 around 5pm. The trees were predominantly a species of Samae Talay wood.
Statements from local residents and the village chief were taken by investigating officers from Wichit Police Station in regards to the offenders profiles and while nobody was immediately identified, Governor Narong has urged that the perpretrators are identified and brought to justice as soon as possible.
Officers also urged anyone who sees illegal logging activity to report it immediately to police so they can investigate the matter.