The Stung Treng provincial forestry administration stopped five vans carrying second-grade timber in Stung Treng town yesterday after receiving a tip-off.
Sok Sida, chief of the Stung Treng provincial forestry administration, said that his officers received the tip-off and carried out the operation, but failed to arrest the drivers.
“We have our secret network reporting to us about smuggling, so we deployed our forces near the Mekong Bridge in Stung Treng town’s Preah Bat commune and when they arrived, we stopped the van,” he said. “However, the drivers escaped into a nearby forest.”
“There were a total of five vans carrying sokrom wood,” he added. “They were heading from Thalaborivat district to Prey Veng and Kratie provinces. We don’t know where their final destination was because the drivers escaped.”
Mr Sida said the timber and vehicles were impounded at the provincial forestry administration office for further investigation today.
“We haven’t measured the wood yet,” he said. “Our next steps are two things. First, we will appeal to the driver or owner to turn themselves in and confess; if they do, we will fine them. The second step is sending the case to court if they do not appear to confess.”