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Three die in separate smuggling attempts

Three men died in separate cases last week while illegally transporting luxury wood to sell in Stung Treng and Mondulkiri provinces. Nou Sokhum, Thala Barivat commune police chief, said that alleged timber hauler Sun Mouch, 48, died at the scene of a motorbike accident in Stung Treng on Friday while transporting 500 kilograms of luxury thnong wood to sell in town.

“[Mouch’s] motorbike was speeding and it could have collided with the safety posts [along the road]. The motorbike just veered to the left and he fell backward,” Sokhum said, adding that Mouch could have been trying to avoid a vehicle in front of him.

According to Sokhum, the timber and motorbike were impounded at Thala Barivat police station and Mouch’s body has been returned to the family for his funeral.

In a separate case, Stung Treng town police chief Chhuok Komal said a 30-year-old man died at the provincial referral hospital after suffering head injuries from a motorbike fall while transporting luxury timber in Preah Bat commune on Thursday.

“Other haulers helped to bring him to the hospital,” he said, adding that “the haulers do not usually go alone, and they never wear a helmet”.

Yet another similar accident took place on Friday in Mondulkiri, with Nov Roeun, 41, also killed in a motorbike accident while transporting a 2-metre-long piece of wood in Monorom commune, according to Monorom deputy police chief Khun Thy.

He added that there were no witnesses and the victim died from his injuries at the hospital.

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