Ten Vietnamese nationals were deported on Tuesday following their arrest on Sunday in Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district for allegedly attempting to illegally log and haul timber, local authorities said on Wednesday.
Poy Yong, Sesan commune police chief, said authorities were tipped off by members of the Phumi Phis forest community about 10 men who they had spotted travelling in tractors into Cambodia across the border at Phis village. The villagers became concerned the men might engage in illegal logging.
O’Yadav District Governor Sem Lin then led a crackdown, resulting in the arrests.
Yong said the men were deported after they thumbprinted a document promising not to commit forestry crimes in Cambodia.
“Their release and deportation to Vietnam [is] because they have not committed the forestry crime yet,” he said. “However, the [tractors], which authorities confiscated, were seized as state property, and at the moment those [tractors] are impounded at [the] Borkeo Forestry Administration.”
According to a police report, the community claimed the men had planned to log timber from the O’Yak Krak Mountain and O’Yak Kroem Mountain.