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Major K Cham rosewood haul

Authorities inspect a stockpile of rosewood in Kampong Cham province after it was discovered in a warehouse on Tuesday.
Authorities inspect a stockpile of rosewood in Kampong Cham province after it was discovered in a warehouse on Tuesday. NATIONAL POLICE

Major K Cham rosewood haul

Authorities in Kampong Cham province are on the hunt for the owner of hundreds of logs of rosewood, found on Tuesday afternoon in Chamkar Leu district.

According to district police chief Ith Dara, local officers under the direction of the provincial deputy prosecutor raided an illegal storage facility in Busthlan village following a tip-off, discovering a cache of the prized timber.

“There was a large-scale crackdown on rosewood, but we did not see anyone at the site. They may have transported the rosewood, log by log,” he said after spending more than four hours inspecting the scene.

The timber was reportedly taken to the Provincial Forestry Office for assessment, where more than 200 logs – around half the stash – had already been counted by noon yesterday.

The deputy prosecutor in charge of the mission, Riel Sophin, said two cars and a truck were also found at the scene and seized along with the wood.

“We are taking this very seriously,” he said.

Sophin added that authorities were not yet aware of the identity of the owner of either the land or the timber, but that the latter was required by law to come forward to face legal action.

“Normally [timber] does not belong to the landowner. The land is rented to another person. We do not know where the timber is from,” he said.

The discovery follows a series of police interceptions of unclaimed illegal rosewood around the country in recent months, including a record 23 tonnes in Oddar Meanchey province in July.

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