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Authorities intercept bus carrying timber

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Authorities offload the illegal timber from the bus. Nokor Wat

Kampong Thom provincial forestry officials yesterday seized 35 pieces of luxury timber from a bus transporting the haul from Preah Vihear province.

Mom Sophal, forestry division chief in Kampong Thmar, said forces cooperated with military police officials during the operation at about 1.00am.

Mr Sophal said he received a tip at about 11.00pm about the bus carrying the wood from Preah Vihear and into Kampong Thom as it headed toward Phnom Penh.

“The bus was caught at about 1.00am in Baray district and we found 35 pieces of luxury timber,” he said.

He added that the bus driver escaped and the bus and timber was sent to the forestry station.

Mr Sophal declined to comment further.

Brigadier General Eng Hy, spokesman for the National Military Police, confirmed that an investigation is ongoing.

“It is an investigation case by forestry officials and so I don’t have detailed information,” Brig Gen Hy said.

Seng Sokheng, a coordinator with the Community Peace Building Network, said timber is still being looted from the Prey Lang protected areas.

“We are worried because illegal logging damages the forests and continues to happen,” he said. “We have seen weak law enforcement is to blame.”

“The other main factor in such crimes continuing is corruption,” he added.

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