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Illegal timber plant shut down by police

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The timber processing facility did not have proper permission to operate. Photo supplied

Illegal timber plant shut down by police

Kampong Speu provincial police shuttered a timber processing facility in Baset district after its owner failed to heed demands to obtain proper permission to operate.

Forestry Administration chief in the Baset district Sok Sokhon said provincial and district military police raided the facility on Saturday in Por Chamroeun commune and seized 22 pieces of timber. The owner escaped.

Police also confiscated a tractor, chainsaw, cart and other related items, he noted.

He said authorities had cracked down on the site earlier and made the owner sign a contract to stop repeating the crime.

The owner was also told to seek permission to operate, but he still ran it illegally, so the authorities were forced to shut it down.

“The owner escaped the site and now faces court action. We confiscated all evidence which we have impounded at the District Hall. We will prepare documents to send to the court,” he said.

Provincial military police commander Chou Sarun said Forestry Administration experts have taken over the case.

Provincial governor Vei Samnang said he obtained the report about the case and told the relevant authorities to take firm action against the owner.

Meanwhile, forest rangers in the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary in Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces worked with officers from BirdLife International Cambodia to confiscate 14 chainsaws and 320 traps in January, according to a Facebook post on BirdLife International Cambodia on Sunday.

It said forest crimes rise in the dry season and called for people to work together to preserve the area.

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