One lucky bidder on Tuesday claimed the first shipment in a batch of nearly 550 cars purchased at auction from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), a forestry official said yesterday.
The 543 vehicles taken from a pool of 757, of which 214 weren’t operational, were bought at auction in September by a buyer identified in local media as Ma Sothy after being seized in the course of forestry crime crackdowns between 2004 and 2011.
Taong Viravuthy, deputy head of the Kampong Chhnang provincial forestry office, confirmed that 16 cars of varying types had been shipped out of his office to the buyer on October 21.
The MAFF issued a declaration in August announcing that the 757 cars were to be cleared from the state inventory.
Only four people reportedly registered for the nationwide auction, with Sothy reportedly bidding over $62,000 for the functional units.