Forest officials accused to misappropriating 65 million baht worth of Agarwood

Forest officials in Songkhla province have been accused by police of misappropriating 65 million baht worth of fragrant Agarwood which was seized by forest officials but later ordered to be returned to their owner by the court.

Pol Col Somboon Thongsomboon, superintendent of Kuan Meet police in Songkhla, said he had filed a complaint, accusing a group of forest officials of the Forest Resources Management Office of malfeasance in office for having misappropriated 13 kilogrammes of fragrant Agarwood worth about 65 million baht which was impounded and kept under their care.

The Agarwood was seized by Kuan Meet police in Chana district of Songkhla on March 27, 2016 and then held in the care of forest officials which the case was pending in the court.

Later on, the court ordered the fragrant wood to be returned to its owner, Mr Hamran Halabee, who however complained that the wood which was returned to him by the forest officials was not Agarwood.

Pol Col Somboon said that police inquiry officers would question officials of the Forest Resources Management Office on Tuesday after which a report of their findings would be sent to the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Government Sector Anti-Corruption Committee for consideration.

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