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Officials pose for a photograph yesterday after seizing illegal timber in Ratanakkiri province. Photo supplied
Officials pose for a photograph yesterday after seizing illegal timber in Ratanakkiri province. Photo supplied

Hundreds of luxury timber logs seized

Ratanakkiri province police seized 285 logs of first-grade timber in a raid at a cashew farm in a remote area of the province yesterday, although no loggers were arrested.

Nouv Dara, chief of Ratanakkiri’s anti-economic crime unit, said officials investigated for weeks and discovered the timber stockpile at a cashew plantation in Talav commune in Andong Meas district.

“When we arrived there, we did not see any people, so we just confiscated the timber as evidence,” Dara said.

He added that the location is in a remote area with poor roads that took police several hours to reach. He speculated the owners of the timber may have been tipped off that police were on the way to investigate, which allowed them to escape.

The timber was impounded at the Andong Meas Forestry Administration office.

Andong Meas Forestry Administration Director Leng Yuk said the owner of the timber has one month to appear in court and pay a fine before the case is forwarded to the provincial court.

In a separate case yesterday, Kampong Chhnang Forestry Administration officials confiscated roughly 100 logs of luxury-grade timber hidden under plastic tarps in a van on its way to Phnom Penh.

Thaong Vanravuthy, provincial director at the Kampong Chhnang Forestry Administration, said officials stopped the van but the driver escaped on foot.

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