At least 160 logs of first-grade timber were discovered and seized by military police on Friday from a plantation in Kratie’s Chet Borei district, though authorities have yet to identify the person behind the illegal wood, officials said yesterday.
Kuy Huot, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture, said more than 10 officials from the Military Police, police and Forestry Administration, raided the location after receiving a tip from an informant.
“It is at a plantation of a villager, but we do not know the owner of the timber,” he said. “We are searching for the owner of the timber, but we [believe] that the timber belonged to a villager, who we could not identify yet.”
Although a local media report said the timber was found at an economic land concession, Huot denied it.
He added that the timber had been impounded at a nearby Forestry Administration office, where it is being measured for an accurate count.
Ros Bun Thoeun, Chang Krang commune police chief, said he was not aware of the crime until after the crackdown. “The timber was hidden at the area in many piles,” he said.
Hong Vinol, deputy commander for the National Military Police, said the crackdown was carried out in accordance with an order from General Sao Sokha, chief of the anti-logging task force, before declining to comment further on the case and referring questions to provincial police.
San Bunthan, commander of the provincial Military Police, and Eng Hy, spokesman for the anti-logging task force, both declined to comment.