Provincial authorities in Siem Reap discovered a stockpile of rosewood weighing approximately 21 tonnes in Banteay Srei district on Wednesday afternoon.
Tea Kimsoth, provincial Forestry Administration director, yesterday credited joint efforts made by the Forestry Administration and anti-economic crime police officials in discovering the wood stashed in Khnar Sandai commune.
Banteay Srei district governor Sou Sun said that, after discovering the rosewood on Wednesday, police transported it via truck to a nearby nursery.
Im Un, Khnar Sandai commune police chief, and his deputy, Em Un, told the Post they had no knowledge of the seizure or any idea about who was behind the crime.
Ten Sem, Banteay Srei village chief, also claimed no knowledge of the rosewood bust.
But, he admitted, about 20 to 30 members of his village harvested luxury wood from a nearby mountain on a daily basis.
Banteay Srei villagers, however, don’t harvest “the big rosewood, they can only get branches or roots, up to two to three kilograms per day to support themselves”, Ten said.