The owner of a timber handicraft workshop and one of his workers were arrested yesterday for allegedly handling illegal luxury wood.
Eam Bunly, 45, owner of the workshop in Spean Meanchey commune in Mondulkiri province, and Doeun Sokhim, 35, were detained by Sen Monorom city police in collaboration with provincial forestry administration officials.
They are accused of keeping stocks of the luxury wood and using it in their products without permission from relevant authorities.
They are also accused of stealing confiscated timbers from the provincial forestry administration to stock their workshop.
“They stole the confiscated timber and hid it at their workshop,” said Captain Chan Sary, deputy chief of Sen Monorom city police. “They used it to make furniture for their business. They were arrested after police raided their workshop.”
He said police confiscated about 100 pieces of rosewood and other related material from the workshop.
Most of the rosewood had been looted from stocks of the provincial forestry administration on the night of April 17, he noted.
He added that the pair were charged by police with theft and stocking timber without permission.
Both were being held at the city police station for further investigation.
Morm Vanda, deputy prosecutor and spokesman of Ratanakkiri Provincial Court, and Vong Serey, chief of the provincial forestry administration, could not be reached for comment yesterday.