Police are on the lookout for an SUV driver who escaped after a chase by Rovieng District Forestry Administration (FA) officials in Preah Vihear province, who spotted his vehicle hauling two cubic metres of expensive thnong timber.
The driver, who was in a convoy with three other vehicles, was fleeing FA officials who were hot on his heels when one of his tyres suffered a puncture, causing the vehicle to overturn.
Although the suspect escaped, he is believed to have been injured as police found blood in the vehicle, said Rovieng District Forestry Administration (FA) official, Chey Setha.
Relating to the Monday incident, Setha said four vehicles – one loaded with the two cubic metres of timber – attempted to evade FA officials after encountering their outpost while driving on National Road 62, in Prey Veng’s Rovieng district.
He said after his SUV overturned, the suspect got out and escaped with the drivers of the other vehicles.
Police, who arrived at the scene, gathered evidence and impounded the SUV and its timber load at Rovieng District Forestry Administration office.
Officials are working to identify and locate the driver of the overturned vehicle.
“The vehicle and its load have been impounded, and we are now tracing its owner and the others in the convoy to arrest them. We believe they were transporting the timber to Thailand for sale,” Setha said.
Rovieng district police chief, Say Det, said on Tuesday that his officers are working on a joint investigation with the district FA and have handed all the evidence and reports to them.