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Illegal Hauls of Timber Discovered

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
Armed officers stand on a haul of illegal timber they discovered. Supplied

Stung Treng provincial military police discovered four separate stockpiles of illegal timber over the past two days amounting to thousands of cubic meters, but have yet to report any arrests.
On Sunday, provincial Forestry Administration officials in cooperation with military police found more than 50 pieces of unlicensed luxury timber in Thmey village, according to the National Military Police.
National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said the morning operation yielded more than 50 pieces of luxury wood.
“It was about 8am when the military police found the timber, however, there was no arrest because we don’t know who the owner is yet,” he said.
According to a report by the Forestry Administration, 54 pieces of timber were found, amounting to 1,589 cubic meters.
The report added separately that 1,996 pieces of luxury wood amounting to 3,621 cubic meters were also found abandoned on the same day in Thmar Leat village. The wood was sent to the provincial Forestry Administration department.
In yet another crackdown, the provincial military police found more than 100 pieces of first-class wood hidden in the forest in Stung Treng province’s Bachong village yesterday, according to military police.
A provincial military police officer involved in the crackdown who declined to give his name told Khmer Times: “We found 117 pieces of timber left behind inside the forest and we don’t know who the owner is yet but we are searching.
“We don’t know the amount in cubic meters yet. It will be measured tomorrow at the Forestry Administration,” he said, adding that the lead for finding the timber had been provided by the National Military Police.
The wood was sent to the provincial Forestry Administration department after the operation, according to the officer.
In a separate case on Sunday, provincial military police found more than 700 pieces of wood submerged in water or buried in the ground in Stung Treng province’s Sesan district.
The National Police reported that more than 700 pieces of wood were transported by minivan to the area and were abandoned in the water and also buried behind a house in Sesan district’s Chrop village.
Chea Pich, deputy prosecutor at the Stung Treng Provincial Court, led the operation but declined to comment.
The discovery of such a large of amount of wood follows the arrest of Vietnamese timber trader Heng Samneang, also known as Yeay Proeung, earlier this month in Stung Treng town after police claimed she attempted to strong-arm them and retake confiscated wood by force.

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