The officers seized the illegal lumber at a no-name resort located behind Laem Krating, in Moo 2, Soi Laem Mum Nok, Karon.
Although Laem Krating is geographically close to Nai Harn, which is in Rawai Subdistrict, the popular peninsula in administrative terms is located within the boundaries of Karon Subdistrict.
The timber was seized in a raid last at midday Saturday (Feb 19), officials have now reported.
The timber seized was being used to build residence buildings at the site, the officers noted.
The man who claimed to own the illegal timber, whose name was not reported by the police, initially told officers that the timber was legal and that had documented evidence.
However, the officers reported that further investigation did not find any documents that confirmed the timber was legally owned as claimed.
“The police have taken a picture of the man with the seized lumber as evidence and forwarded the matter to the office of the Royal Forest Department in Karon Subdistrict for further investigation," the CSD officers noted in their report.
Residents in the area said that a 10-wheeled truck made several deliveries of timber to the resort before the officers came to investigate.
Royal Forest Department officials had already made arrests and seized illegal timber in the area in 2019, police noted in their report.
The case was prosecuted as Criminal Case No. 8022562/2019, Asset Seizure Case No. 118/2019, the report added.
"At that time, two suspects were arrested, one a former army officer with the rank of Police Lieutenant Colonel and the other a business owner who lived in the Karon area," the CSD officers noted.
The CSD officers in their latest report said the raids on illegal timber were the result of neglect by forest officials since 2019.
“On Oct 30, 2019, the Forest Resources Office 12, Krabi branch, seized illegal timber and ordered prosecution according to its authority and reported [the case] to [their] Director-General, but the case was ignored until a new director took office,” their report noted.
“The new director also issued a letter on August 20, 2019 requesting further investigation of forest encroachment, If an offense is found, the seizure must be carried out and proceeded under Section 25,” the report continued.
“But forest officials in the area again ignored the order”, the officers stated.
“The task force officers [who conducted the raid last Saturday] therefore went to the area to inspect this time and were able to seize the illegal lumber,” the report said.