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Police say official had luxury logs

An immigration official at the Ministry of Interior’s office in Ratanakkiri province was arrested yesterday, accused of illegal logging, district police said.

O’Yadav police chief Sok Min said provincial court prosecutor Liv Sreng led military and police officials on a car chase that ended with the arrest of the official, Kong Sovan Chenda, and two others.

The car that the three had been travelling in was found to have 36 pieces of luxury timber weighing a combined 355 kilograms, Min alleged.

“He [Sovan Chenda] attempted to transport the timber across to Vietnam, but we arrested him immediately and his two drivers,” he said.

The car, a Lexus, and the luxury wood in question were taken to the local Forestry Administration office, Min added.

Chhay Thy, a provincial coordinator for rights-group Adhoc, said authorities should continue to fight against a problem decimating Cambodia’s remaining forest areas.

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