A Khmer-Vietnamese Association representative in Ratanakkiri yesterday denied that illegally logged timber confiscated from the group’s office in Tes Anglong village on Tuesday belonged to the association.
Sok Chea, the association director, said Forestry Administration officers and Military Police raided the office on orders of the provincial prosecutor and confiscated more than 2 cubic metres of rosewood and thnong, which were taken to the Forestry Administration office.
“After the discovery and seizure of the timber, authorities invited me for interrogation,” he said. “I clarified . . . that the timber did not belong to the association . . . because the association rents the location.”
According to Chea, the timber had been in a school the association had set up “for a long time”.
The building is owned by Yot Heang, who said the wood had been left there four years ago by a Vietnamese man named Nguyen Venghay.
Venghay, 47, said he had bought the timber from a Cambodian man several years ago.
Provincial Prosecutor Chea Pich said the case was in the hands of Forestry Administration officials. The Ratanakkiri forestry chief couldn’t be reached.