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NGO says commander smuggled timber, tip-off ‘ignored’

A conservation group yesterday accused a military commander in Kampong Speu of smuggling two tonnes of illegally cut rosewood to Vietnam on Monday night.

Chea Hean, director of the Natural Resources and Wildlife Preservation Organisation, said the commander had cut the timber in the protected Oral Sanctuary, in Oral district.

“It was taken past the sanctuary checkpoints, but no one caught it,” he said. “At midnight on Monday, the timber was sent to Vietnam.”

Hean said he alerted district governor Chem Sarim, provincial environment department deputy director Nov Nak, forestry officials and police, but none had acted. “I told them so they could intervene.”

Kaig Chansema, district forestry administrative director, said the incident had taken place outside his area, while district governor Chem Sarim said he had received a tip-off but patrolling police had found nothing.

A recent Post story showed a recent crackdown on illegal logging has resulted in only one arrest.

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