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Timber seized in Preah Vihear province last week. PHOTO SUPPLIED
Timber seized in Preah Vihear province last week. PHOTO SUPPLIED

‘Former soldier’ held in R’kiri timber bust

A man alleged to be a former soldier based in Ratanakkiri province was charged by the Stung Treng Provincial Court yesterday in connection with alleged timber trafficking. Court spokeswoman Sun Yeut identified the suspect as Vong Var, 49, saying the court had placed him in pre-trial detention.

“He was charged with transporting over 100 pieces of thnong timber, using a fake RCAF licence plate and using drugs,” Yeut said, adding that the timber was found in a Land Cruiser bearing fake plates that he had been driving, and that while no drugs were found on him, his urine tested positive.

Provincial Adhoc coordinator Hou Sam Ol said Var is a Ratanakkirri military police officer who had been attempting to haul the timber from Sesan district to Ratanakkiri when he was arrested last week.However, Ratanakkiri Military Police Commander Kim Reaksmey denied that Var was one of his men, but rather a former soldier.

“He is not a military policeman, but a soldier at Unit 2B who was drug addicted and dismissed from his unit,” Reaksmey said, declining to comment further. Separately, Forestry Administration officials in Preah Vihear’s Tbeng Meanchey district raided two sawmills on Monday afternoon.

District Governor Ung Vuthy said more than 15 cubic metres of first-grade timber were confiscated, but that both owners were out of the office at the time of the raid.

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