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Two arrests over forest clearing

Sandan district Forestry Administration authorities arrested two men and sent them to court yesterday for allegedly clearing around 20 hectares of forest illegally in Meanrith commune, Kampong Thom province.

District Police Chief Sao Vanny, said Sok Kor, 35, was found driving a bulldozer on Saturday afternoon, with his accomplice, Ny Sophak, 37.

The men were arrested when they could not show any legal documents for their work.

“The two suspects were condemned for clearing the permanent state forest land for personal profit,” Vanny said, however he acknowledged the men claim they were merely employed by others.

Authorities seized and impounded the bulldozer as evidence.

“The person who hired us told us that he is the owner of the land,” said Mit Marn, who also works at the site.

Brak Thy, the owner of the bulldozer, said he bears no responsibility and the dispute must be settled between the land owner and the person who hired his vehicle.

“[He must] pay us the right amount for the clearing, as promised.”

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