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Car with gov’t plates hauled luxury wood

Car with gov’t plates hauled luxury wood

Battambang provincial forestry officials intercepted a large load of illegal luxury timber being transported in a government-plated car on Monday night.

The driver was arrested and brought in for questioning, Ly Chu Bearng of the provincial Forestry Administration said yesterday.

He added that officials were still seeking to ascertain the identity of the owner of the timber, and were continuing to question the driver, whom they identified only as Bora.

Bearng would not comment on the governmental position held by the driver, saying only that “the case is being investigated”.

The timber was being transported from Pailin town to Battambang, he said, but had been intercepted in a village in O’Mal commune before reaching the city.

Forest loss in Cambodia has accelerated faster than any other country in the world since 2001, according to a recent analysis of satellite images by the World Resources Institute.

Forest monitors have pinned the blame for large-scale deforestation on the presence of economic land concessions near protected areas.

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