Authorities in Ratanakkiri province seized 150 logs of illegally harvested luxury wood along a river in the province’s Veun Sai district on Sunday following a tip-off from locals, residents said yesterday.
“A total of 150 logs were found at different spots along the Sesan River,” said Ti Phally, a commune chief in the district. “The timber was taken to the provincial [capital] that night.”
Phally said that the timber belonged to a broker named Bou, who mysteriously disappeared from the area when the officers arrived.
“The timber was cut in another place, and they just took it across my commune,” he said.
The find was made by a team of military police and Forestry Administration officials led by provincial deputy prosecutor Mam Vanda.
According to Phan Phoeun, deputy chief of the Provincial Forestry Administration, no one has been formally linked to the timber yet.
“The timber is old and some of it is rotten,” he said, adding that its owner had one month to appear and pay a fine lest the case be sent to court for legal action.