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Officials inspect seized timber after a bust on Saturday in Kampong Speu province.
Officials inspect seized timber after a bust on Saturday in Kampong Speu province. Photo supplied

Timber busts in Kampong Speu

National and Provincial Military Police in Kampong Speu seized hauls of illicit timber and arrested two suspects in separate cases over the weekend.

A Provincial Military Police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the press, said the authorities intercepted a Phnom Penh-plated truck on National Road 41 carrying 14 pieces of timber used for making pepper trellises in Kong Pisei district’s Snam Krapoeu commune on Friday.

He said two men were detained – driver Phon Da, 33, and and Su Chamroeun, 33, and are being questioned about ownership of the truck.

“The two suspects have not admitted yet about who is behind them or whether they belong to a company,” he said.

Chhuen Sothon, Provincial Environment Department director, said it is suspected the truck was en route to Takeo province to sell the timber to Vietnamese traders.

“The authorities are . . . launching further investigation,” he said, noting that the case report had not yet reached his desk.

Separately, authorities in Oral district came upon 42 pieces of luxury timber, totaling 17.73 cubic metres, in a wooded area in Sangke Satoap commune on Saturday.

Provincial Military Police Commander Sorm Purthdara said no suspect was arrested but the timber – a mix of thnong, mrech and beng – was believed to come from forests in Pursat province.

Department Director Sothon said the timber was with his office and the case will be sent to court for investigation.

“I will forward it to the court to find the criminal and accomplices,” he said.

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