A 23-year-old man was charged and placed in pre-trial detention on Wednesday for cutting down a rosewood tree in Oddar Meanchey’s Samraong town.
The tree, which had been growing inside the Puthakiri Senchey pagoda in Konkriel commune, was chopped down with a hand saw a week earlier. Police launched an investigation and arrested the suspect, Moeul Nimol, four days later, said Samroang deputy police chief Luy Nak.
The rosewood was already sold, Nak added, but police haven’t identified the buyer. Provincial deputy police chief Lek Sophak noted that the rosewood tree was not exceptionally large, but cutting down a tree in a pagoda is problematic.
While in custody, Nimol was also tested for drugs and came up positive for cocaine.
In a separate case on Wednesday, Tbong Khmum provincial police, working together with the Forestry Administration, arrested a man transporting 165 logs of rosewood weighing 427 kilograms in Ponhea Krek district, according to a statement posted on the Forestry Administration’s Facebook page yesterday.