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Couple say illegal wood is not theirs

Police seized about 600 pieces of luxury-grade rosewood weighing about 2,000 kilograms during a raid in Oddar Meanchey province on Sunday, but are still deciding whether to arrest the owners of the property on which it was found, an official said.

Bun Heng, a communal forestry official in Anlong Veng district, said the joint police task force that had made the discovery were still investigating – which included interviewing the owners of the premises – but had not yet laid any charges.

“The couple denied owning the wood, and we don’t know whether or not it’s theirs,” he said. “We’re not sure if they’re in the wood business, so it’s up to the police to decide whether they will be sent to court.”

Heng said the rosewood had been found hidden behind the house of Sun Buntheoun, 33 and his wife, Bos Chanya, 30, in Anlong Veng commune’s Kandal Leu village.

Police raided the property after getting a warrant from the provincial court prosecutor because they suspected the owners were stocking luxury timber on site and delivering it to customers, Heng said.

“As far as the houseowners go, we’re just preparing information about their background, based on answers they gave, and we will send these notes to the court,” he added. “We do not have the power to arrest them ourselves.”

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