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Two arrested in Kampong Cham over carload of rosewood

Police have arrested two men for allegedly illegally hauling more than 200 kilos of luxury rosewood in a Lexus from Kampong Thom into neighbouring Kampong Cham province.

The driver, Chhin Thea, 21, and his accomplice, Phlong Hean, 21, were arrested by Kampong Cham provincial police offiers early on Sunday morning in Cheung Prey district with 270 kilograms of the expensive endangered timber in their vehicle, said anti-economic crime officer Tith Vanna.

“We do not know where the rosewood is from, but they transported it across Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham,” Vanna said, adding the men were sent to Kampong Thom authorities, who would pursue the case.

Kampong Thom provincial prosecutor Ith Sothea said the duo were questioned at court yesterday morning, before appearing to play down the seriousness of their offence.

“As we saw, the rosewood is not much. They bought it to make statues,” he said.

Sothea could not be reached yesterday to confirm whether the men would be charged or released. The court’s spokesman said he was unaware of the case because he was busy with a personal matter.

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