Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kratie authorities seize wood, leave tractors

Kratie authorities seize wood, leave tractors

Villagers unload wood from their tractors in Kratie province last week after they were stopped by military police. Photo supplied
Villagers unload wood from their tractors in Kratie province last week after they were stopped by military police. Photo supplied

Kratie authorities seize wood, leave tractors

Authorities and villagers arrived at a compromise in Kratie province last week after military police confiscated a fleet of single-axle tractors loaded with wood in Chet Borey district’s Kolab commune.

Commune chief Chhum Chhouy said the seizure took place in the early hours of Saturday morning, when military police intercepted the tractors as they were leaving a nearby forest. He said he pleaded with the authorities not to arrest the villagers as the lumber was not luxury timber and had been gathered from the forest floor, not felled.

“They spent about half a week in the forest to collect that wood, which they can sell for 10,000 to 15,000 riel [about $2.50 to $3.75] apiece,” he said. “I begged the military police to release my villagers and not to arrest them because it was just pieces of wood.”

Commune police chief Hoeun Piseth said that a deal was reached whereby the villagers relinquished the wood and were allowed to leave with their tractors.

Chet Borey district military police chief Im Chetra confirmed that no one was arrested. “We just talked to the villagers and let them go,” Chetra said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • News Analysis: Defiance can last for how long?

    The Cambodian government has so far stood strong in the face of mounting international pressure over its treatment of critics, but analysts, diplomats and ruling party officials now wonder how long the defiance can last. The European Union has led the firestorm of criticism, threatening

  • ‘Freedom fighters’ or ‘foreign puppets?’

    Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) official Meach Sovannara was joined by supporters at a rally in California on Saturday, where a US lawmaker hailed members of the outlawed opposition as “great freedom fighters”. However, a Cambodian government spokesman said such a phrase belonged to