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Villagers on patrol take two loggers

Members of the Kuoy ethnic group captured two loggers and seized two chainsaws on Saturday, accusing the alleged loggers of felling resin trees illegally at Prey Preah Rokar community forest in Preah Vihear.

Forty-three community villagers patrolling the forest stopped and questioned two loggers, who said they were from Kampot province and cut the trees to be used in the building houses.

After signing a contract promising not to do it again, the two suspects were released.

“We realised they had cut down trees along the river for months,” said a community villager, who believed the duo had been hired to cut the trees.

“The forestry crimes occurred rampantly, but no authority intercepted, only my community,” she added. “We have seized 10 chainsaws since 2013.”

The patrol was set up confidentially to conceal it from those who may have contacts with authorities. But a Preah Vihear provincial forestry official said most of the loggers come from within the community.

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