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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Timber seized during bust

A truck carrying illegally felled, luxury-grade timber sits on the road
A truck carrying illegally-felled, luxury-grade timber sits on the road yesterday in Kratie province after being seized by local security forces. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Timber seized during bust

Mixed security forces led by Kratie province’s court prosecutor yesterday arrested six people in a huge illegal logging bust, confiscating more than 100 cubic metres of protected luxury-grade timber.

The arrests of both Cambodian and Vietnamese nationals were the culmination of a three-day crackdown by prosecutor Ty Sovin Thal in Snuol district’s Khsem commune.

“The luxury wood in the area must be nearly gone, if there are such huge stockpiles. Now the court is questioning the people to find out who’s behind the scheme,” Sovin Thal said.

The Snuol Wildlife Sanctuary, which borders Vietnam and is home to several economic land concessions (ELCs), is known to be a key transit route of illegally felled timber. Local authorities said they discovered the stockpile hidden in the forest next to an ELC owned by an investment company.

Sovin Thal said that the six suspects would be released after questioning because they were only low-level employees in the operation.

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