An estimated 30 to 40 cubic metres of protected luxury timber was intercepted in Ratanakkiri province on Wednesday night while being hauled to Vietnam, according to local officials.
Nouv Dara, director of Ratanakkiri’s anti-economic crime unit said that a truck loaded with thnong logs was intercepted near the O’Yadav international checkpoint, but was unable to provide further details about the origins of its drivers or contents.
Another customs official on the operation said that officers “halted the vehicle, but the driver managed to flee”, along with his accomplices. He added that the vehicle and timber were impounded at the Ratanakkiri provincial customs office.
However, Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc who is monitoring the case, reported that the logs were impounded at the office, but that the vehicle had not been seen there.
“The timber was being transported from Mondulkiri to sell in Vietnam,” he said.
Kim Raksmey, provincial military police commander, said that the seized load had not yet been measured.
In a separate case, a 34-year-old man was charged on Wednesday for unlicensed collection of forestry products in Koh Kong province, after two cars transporting rosewood were intercepted in separate locations there.
The first vehicle contained 35 logs and the second 107, reported Kong Puthira, an official at the Ministry of Agriculture.