Battambang Provincial Court yesterday charged and jailed a well-known timber businessman living in Banan district for stocking and transporting luxury timber without authorisation in the province.
Major General Cheth Vanny, deputy chief of provincial police, identified the accused as Im Borey, also known as Peach, the 35-year-old owner of a timber shop in Banan district’s Ta Kriem commune.
Maj Gen Vanny said that the accused was a well-known timber trader who often hired loggers to cut trees within protected forest areas in Banan district.
Maj Gen Vanny said the accused bought the trees cut by the loggers and transported them to his own shop in order to sell them to other buyers, clients in other cities and provinces across the country.
Maj Gen Vanny said that the accused was arrested on Tuesday by provincial police at his house in accordance with a court warrant issued for his arrest on June 19.
Maj Gen Vanny noted that the arrest was made after provincial police, in collaboration with provincial forestry administration officials, on June 15 arrested a dozen loggers while they were cutting trees illegally within a protected forest in Banan district.
Maj Gen Vanny stated that after the loggers’ arrests, police interrogated them and they identified the accused.
The loggers were later released after they were educated by police and promised that they will no longer cut down trees.
“He was arrested after police raided his house on Tuesday,” he said. “After the arrest, police seized many hundred of tonnes of luxury timber, which were hidden and stocked inside his house without permission or related documents.”
He noted that the accused was charged with “stocking and transporting timber without permission” and has been sent to prison pending a trial.