The three suspects who collaborated with Kế to destroy the forest were arrested. – Photo tuoitre.vn
LÂM ĐỒNG – Bạch Đình Kế, 37, alleged mastermind behind the pine forest poisoning in Tân Thanh Commune in the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng, has been arrested, Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper reported.
On Sunday, Lâm Đồng Province Police announced that they arrested Kế, who was charged with poisoning some 3,500 pine trees.
According to initial findings, after committing the crime, he fled to Gia Lai Province then Laos.
The provincial police reported to the Ministry of Public Security to collaborate with Lao law enforcement agencies to arrest the culprit.
Previously, police caught other suspects including Ngô Văn Diệm, Nguyễn Văn Lợi and Dương Văn Hồng.
Kế hired Diệm to destroy the forest, after that, Diệm tasked Hồng, Lợi and other people, now on the run, to poison the pine trees.
The dying forest turns red. – VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Hùng, Đặng Tuấn
In early May, thousands of almost 20-year-old pine trees covering 10ha in the district had been poisoned, turning the entire area red.
The trees were axed or drilled and then filled with herbicide.
The deforestation was an attempt to encroach on land as land prices in Lâm Hà District are soaring.
On May 8, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc ordered the Ministry of Public Security to launch an investigation into the case. – VNS