Takeo provincial military police discovered a haul of luxury timber left near the water border with Vietnam on Tuesday night.
Phan Sopheak, provincial court spokesman, said the timber’s owner had not been found, but the wood was likely set to be transported to Vietnam over the Bassac River.
“The timber was found near an abandoned house by the water. There were a total of 38 bags of kranhoung rosewood, equivalent to 1,236 kilograms,” he said.
“We haven’t found the owner yet because no one was around when we discovered the timber. We are handing the wood over to the forestry administration and launching an investigation.”
Local media identified the owner as a man named Phoeun.
He apparently attempted to contact provincial military police deputy commander Nget Chanthy, in charge of the operation, to start extrajudicial negotiations. Mr Chanthy declined.
Mr Chanthy did not reply to multiple requests for comment.
“The timber was likely about to be transported by boat to Vietnam, due to the location where it was found. Maybe they left it because the boat could not reach the border in time, or they knew about our presence,” Mr Sopheak said.
“We have an undercover network reporting to us, and we cannot reveal our informants,” he added.