Kampong Thom provincial rangers arrested two suspects on Saturday as they were felling trees and about to clear some 5ha at the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, said the Ministry of Environment.
A ministry Facebook post on Sunday said: “The rangers were patrolling an area of O’Antrork and found two suspects felling trees with chain saws, intending to clear about 5ha.
“The rangers immediately arrested the suspects and sent them to the provincial environment department for questioning with a view to send them to the provincial court.”
Kampong Thom provincial environment department director Tob Kakada told The Post on Monday that the two suspects had illegally encroached on the protected area.
“They are still being questioned,” he said.
The rangers also found a pile of wood where the perpetrators were hiding, according to the Facebook post. The evidence was taken to the ranger headquarters.
The ministry Facebook post also said on Monday that rangers had confiscated a chainsaw in the Trapaing Khna Taplong area in Srayung village, Srayung commune, Kulen district, Preah Vihear province during a patrol.
At the same time, the rangers spotted villagers bringing chainsaws into a protected area in O’Phor village, Romny commune, Rovieng district, in the same province, and confiscated them.
The ministry Facebook post said on Saturday, rangers stopped five suspects and had them sign agreements to stop their attempts to fell trees.
It said rangers spotted a suspect attempting to take cement poles to plant on a site in To Toeung Thgnai village, Boeung Touk commune, Teuk Chhou district in Preah Monivong Bokor National Park.
The perpetrator confessed that he was a hired worker and the rangers let him sign an agreement promising to stop his activities.
Four rangers on Friday in the Kulen Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary found people from Tmat Pery village, Pring Thom commune, Choam Ksan district, Preah Vihear province, digging to plant a fence to take ownership of the land.
The ministry said the rangers instructed them to stop building it. Currently, the ministry manages and conserves 60 protected areas on more than 7.2 million hectares of territory. It employs 1,260 rangers.