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AK-47 fired in wood siege

A FORMER military official, who allegedly unleashed machine-gun fire against unarmed forestry officials during a raid on stockpiles of suspected contraband timber, was arrested after surrendering to police reinforcements.

Thai Kea, 44, was apprehend after a 20-minute siege with forestry officials in Kratie province’s Svay Chreah commune last Friday, Long Ying, Kratie province deputy military police commander, said yesterday.

“He opened fire with an AK[47] gun at forestry officials when they were going to crackdown and confiscate wood”, he claimed, adding that Thai Kea had been charged with illegal possession of a firearm and illegal logging.

Police confiscated 10 cubic metres of timber, four cars and Thai Kea’s AK-47 after the standoff and arrested another man, identified only as an accomplice in illegal logging, Long Ying said.

“We are investigating more people involved in this case because the suspect [Thai Kea] is former military and he has no right to hold a gun anymore”, he added.

Men Bunthoeun, deputy police chief of Kratie province’s

Snoul district, said yesterday Thai Kea had long been a suspected illegal logger.

“He is believed to have trafficked wood for a long time but we [previously] had no evidence to crackdown and arrest him”, he said.

Thim Narin, coordinator of Adhoc in Kratie province, said a provincial crackdown by officials on illegal logging that began last year had started to yield results.



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