Authorities in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Chum district on Saturday commandeered 160 pieces of first-grade timber they stumbled upon.
They believe the timber was a collected stash that illegal loggers had hidden in the forest as they waited for rain to cease before transporting it out, said Chea Pich, the provincial prosecutor.
Pich said O’Chum district and Forestry Administration authorities were led by provincial deputy prosecutor Ra Bovandy to the haul, which they believed had been accumulated from various places inside the forest. They could not estimate its volume.
He said authorities are keeping the timber where it was discovered because rain had made transportation hazardous.
“We cannot take trucks to transport the wood due to the dangerous conditions, but we will continue to guard the timber until the Forestry Administration decides to act according to the Forestry Law."
“We have not identified the suspects who stockpiled the timber, but we are proceeding to investigate and trace them,” Pich said.
London-based Environmental Impact Assessment recently issued a series of reports that claimed Vietnamese offenders committed hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of forest crimes in Cambodia.
However, it claimed that Cambodian authorities have failed to prosecute the perpetrators, leaving the Kingdom to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in state income annually.