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Vietnamese loggers jailed

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The loggers leave the municipal court. Supplied

Seven Vietnamese men were yesterday convicted by Phnom Penh Municipal Court and sentenced to a year each in prison for illegal logging and transporting luxury timber without authorization.

The offences took place in protected wildlife forests in Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district early this year.

Those convicted were: Ngor Tintieng, 34, Du Vanlin, 29, Hor Ngoc Ding, 30, Le Kongdai, 41, Ngor Anto, 28, Fang Ngoc Vang, 43, and Nguven Tongyung, 46.

The court also fined them 50 million riel ($12,500) each.

Judge Ky Rithy said that in early February, the seven illegally crossed the border to cut down trees.

They were arrested on February 22 after military police with the National Committee for Forest Crime Prevention patrolled protected areas and found them transporting the timber.

Police seized 145 logs of luxury wood that had been illegally harvested in the conservation area, totalling about 200 cubic metres.

Military police also seized eight trucks, four motorbikes, two chainsaws and other related material from them.

The seven were not brought from prison in Mondulkiri province to attend their verdict announcement.

But during their trial last month, they denied the allegations. They all said that they were not loggers. They were truck mechanics, they claimed.

They said that on the day of the raid they were hired by a Cambodian-Vietnamese timber businessman to repair the trucks, which were out of order and parked in forest areas.

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