Authorities in Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district set up a checkpoint to arrest a group of loggers on Saturday, but only managed to seize the wood while the loggers escaped.
Mey Makara, Choam Ksan district police chief, said the escaped loggers are Cambodians who illegally enter Thailand to cut trees and transport them back to Cambodia.
“The district and military police cooperated with the forestry administration,” he said.
Police officer Roun Yet said they all managed to escape into the woods.
“There were more than ten of them. We could not arrest any; we could only collect the timber. They were coming down from the mountain, from Thai territory,” he said.
Authorities seized ten motorbikes and over 500 kilograms of wood, he said.
“They carried the timber on their backs down the mountain, and once in Cambodia they used the bikes to transport them,” Mr Yet said. “We ran into them when they were using the bikes, and they just abandoned the timber, bikes, and fled into the woods.”
The motorbikes were sent to the military police office, and the timber will be handed to the forestry administration.
“If they come and request the motorbikes, we will fine them, but if they do not come, the case ends here,” Mr Yet said.