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Officials inspect Thnong luxurious timber logs after were discovered in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday in Pursat province. Photo supplied

Loggers busted in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary

More than 400 pieces of luxury thnong wood suspected to be felled by a local community were seized by authorities in Pursat province’s Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary on Thursday following a tip-off from a local reporter.

Provincial environment department director Pan Morokot said yesterday that the timber was uncovered in Stung Thmey, an area within the sanctuary on which villagers are allowed to farm. Environmental rangers and Veal Veng district military police officials in Pramuoy commune found the haul.

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Timber logs discovered in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday in Pursat province. Photo supplied

“The timber, in total, is over 400 logs, each more than seven cubic metres,” he said.

According to Morokot, no one was at the scene when officials arrived, but he speculated that the local community might be involved.

“The people might be the loggers [who] collected [the timber] to sell to a trader,” he said.

Chea Hean, director of the Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organisation, which is involved in investigations into forest crimes in the district, said illegal logging activities are frequent there.

“Many forest crimes are happening there, but only some are cracked down on,” he said.

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