More than 2,500 kilograms of luxury-grade timber smuggled in a cassava truck was seized early yesterday morning by provincial military police in Siem Reap’s Banteay Srei district.
Nhem Seila, deputy provincial military police commander, said yesterday that three officers stopped the truck at 1am at a checkpoint, at which point the driver and two passengers jumped out and fled.
“We checked the truck, finding 2,685 kilograms of rosewood hidden under cassava. The men fled into the nearby forest. We dared not to chase them, because we do not have enough force there,” he said.
Seila said the timber was most likely collected in another province, piecemeal and over a long period of time.
“The timber was taken from one place to another by ox carts and homemade tractors, so that we did not suspect. Then it was buried to hide it,” he said.
Both the truck and wood have been sent to the provincial forestry administration office, said Seila, and the court is looking into a legal investigation.