Pine trees were poisoned to death by chemicals. — VNA/VNS Photo
LÂM ĐỒNG — Six suspected of poisoning large areas of pine trees in the Central Highlands Province of Lâm Đồng have been arrested, Bảo Lâm District Police announced on Wednesday.
The arrested include 42-year-old Phạm Tất Hùng, Huỳnh Xuân Thắng, Nguyễn Thanh Phong, Trần Nguyễn Long Thành, Nguyễn Duy and Nguyễn Phước Trường.
According to initial findings, Hùng, a former banker in Bảo Lâm District, hired the other defendants to destroy nearly 6,500sq.m of 30-year-old pine forest, planted in 1986 in sub-area no.460, Lộc Ngãi Commune, Bảo Lâm District, in order to encroach upon the forestry land.
Earlier, in July, some 600 pine trees were found poisoned. Their trunks had been cut open and the trees' branches were drilled with holes, which were then filled with herbicides.
The forest is under the supervision of the Đam B’Ri Department of Protection Forest Management and surrounded by local residents’ coffee and mulberry farms.
After the incident, law enforcement agencies dug a 4km trench to separate the forest from farms and launch an investigation into the case.
In early June, Bạch Đình Kế, 37, the mastermind behind the pine forest poisoning in Tân Thanh Commune, Lâm Hà District was arrested.
Kế and his accomplices poisoned thousands of 20-year-old pine trees covering 10ha in the district in May using the same method as Hùng is suspected of using. — VNS