Forestry officials in Prey Veng province confiscated 309 pieces of luxury timber allegedly belonging to logging tycoon Try Pheap after the truck transporting the haul tipped over and damaged a house in Komchay Mear district.
Chheang Ngon Hong, deputy director for the provincial Forestry Administration, said authorities seized the timber, which included 29 cubic metres of lower-grade wood, on Saturday and confirmed that it belonged to Pheap’s firm.
“They had permission for the wood, but when we verified, it was not right. It allowed [Try Pheap Group] to transport second- and third-grade timber, but not luxury wood,” he added.
Ngon Hong said the wood was being taken from Pursat to Svay Rieng, and if the “owner” did not pay the fine, the case would be sent to court.
The seizure comes a little over a year after Pheap told the Post he planned to end his companies’ logging activities.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official in Pursat’s Veal Veng district told the Post that Pheap’s firm owned a rubber plantation there, and said a few trucks had been sighted with timber on them. However, he added, the number of trucks was lower than that witnessed two years ago.
The Try Pheap Group could not be reached yesterday.Sa Kaya, the deputy district police chief in Komchay Mear, suggested the truck had crashed either because it was out of control or because the driver was asleep. “The truck [owner] also had to pay $1,000 compensation to the owner of the house for damaging their staircase.”