Three Vietnamese nationals were charged and jailed yesterday for collecting and transporting more than 150kg of luxury rosewood in Preah Vihear province’s Chheb district.
The haul of the expensive lumber, which can fetch tens of thousands of dollars per cubic metre and has been logged to near extinction in Cambodia, was among a trio of recent timber-related busts.
Deputy chief of the Chheb district Forestry Administration Vong Visith said the men were caught on Wednesday on National Road 9 in Chheb 1 commune’s Chheb Keut village.
Their Toyota Camry was carrying 14 logs weighing 154kg when it was stopped by FA and military officers. “They thought we did not know about their transportation, but we got a tip-off about it. It is rosewood, so we need to send them to court,” Visith said, adding the car was headed to Stung Treng province.
Preah Vihear provincial deputy prosecutor Sreng Vuthea said the men had been put in pre-trial detention and were accused of transporting and collecting forest products without permission.
Meanwhile, in a separate case, police in Stung Treng on Tuesday arrested two people after discovering they were transporting about a dozen timber products, including chairs and vases, without permission. Leang Seng, director of the provincial agriculture department, said the case was resolved. “We released them after they agreed to pay the fine,” he said.
In a third case, this in Pursat, military police commander Uk Samon said officers had confiscated 187 pieces of first-grade wood in Pramoy commune.