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Log, truck seized by community

A group of Kuoy ethnic minorities commandeered a truck attempting to move a huge log out of Preah Rokar community forest in Preah Vihear’s Cham Ksan district on Friday.

According to community member Min Yut, close to 50 villagers surrounded the truck and six workers from a company called Ratanak Sambath. The employees fled, leaving the truck and two chainsaws behind, he said.

A representative from the company later negotiated the return of the truck, in return for $1,500, Yut added.

“We agreed and took the compensation to use for patrolling our forest,” he said, adding that the log and chainsaws were impounded.

The company could not be reached for comment yesterday and local authorities said they were not yet aware of the case.

According to Yut, this was the second illegal logging case involving Ratanak Sambath this year.

In February, he said, the company had negotiated the return of two trucks impounded by the community group in a similar incident for $800.

In a separate case over the weekend, Mondulkiri forestry officials seized a car loaded with 36 luxury logs in Pech Chreada district, the Forestry Administration announced.

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