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Activists put blame on local police

Activists working in Prey Lang forest have accused military and police officers of being behind two illegal timber hauls they have intercepted.

In the first case, an estimated 50 cubic metres of timber being transported through Kampong Thom’s Sandan district on homemade tractors was found last Thursday, activist Hoerun Sopheap said.

“The homemade tractor belongs to Chan Mean Chey, a deputy police chief in Sandan commune,” he said, citing reports from those hired to transport the timber.

Mean Chey denied the accusation yesterday, but Uong Sun, the police chief in Sandan commune and his superior, said the tractor belonged to Mean Chey and that it was used to transport timber, but didn’t know if it was illegal wood or not.

Separately, rangers intercepted carts loaded with 11 cubic metres of luxury timber in Kratie’s Snuol district on the same day, said Ek Sovanna, of the Prey Lang Youth Network, with loggers saying they worked for a military police officer.

Kratie deputy military police commander Mao Rainny denied that any military police were involved in the practice of illegal logging.

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