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Armed Invasion: Timber Gang’s Daring Heist at Dong Ma-i Botanical Garden – Thailand’s Irreplaceable Forest Under Attack!

On Sunday night, a large group of armed men stormed into Dong Ma-i Botanical Garden in Roi Et province, making away with seven blocks of valuable payung wood previously confiscated from illegal loggers. Dong Ma-i Botanical Garden is located within a national forest reserve in Nong Phok district, around 86 kilometers from Roi Et town, and covers about 1,000 rai of land. Under the supervision of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, the botanical garden nurtures numerous plant species mentioned in Thai literature.

According to Wisan Kudthalaeng, the forestry specialist in charge, the criminals were estimated to be around 30 heavily armed individuals, their faces concealed from view. The perpetrators entered the botanical garden at around 7:45 PM, threatening Wisan and five other officials on duty. The gang proceeded to use a crane to load the stolen payung wood onto a truck before making their escape around midnight. The wood, which was previously seized by authorities on April 14 and stored at the garden, had a total worth of around 1.9 million baht.

Following the incident, Wisan filed an official complaint at the Nong Sung police station in Mukdahan province on Monday. In response, rangers from the Protected Area Regional Office 8 in Khon Kaen were deployed to safeguard the botanical garden as police continued their investigations into the robbery.

This high-stakes timber heist highlights the growing trend of illegal logging activities in the region, fueled by the demand for valuable wood such as payung. These activities wreak havoc on the environment, disrupting natural ecosystems and contributing to deforestation.

In an attempt to curb these illegal activities, authorities continue their efforts to crack down on poachers and those taking part in the timber trade. The protection of valuable wood species such as payung remains crucial in conserving the environment and ensuring the sustainability of the region’s natural resources. The Dong Ma-i Botanical Garden plays a vital role in nurturing and preserving various plant species native to Thailand, making it an essential asset in the fight against illegal logging and deforestation.

While the situation at Dong Ma-i Botanical Garden was undoubtedly shocking and disheartening, it serves as a reminder of the importance of increased vigilance in protecting our natural resources, combating illegal activities, and preserving the environment for future generations. With continued dedication to conservation efforts and the relentless pursuit of those who seek to exploit the environment for their gain, the preservation of Thailand’s rich and diverse ecosystems can be ensured.

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