The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has sent a man suspected of illegal logging in the Preah Vihear temple forestry conservation area to pre-trial detention, according to the provincial Environment Department.
Ear Sokha, director of the department, said 27-year-old suspect Thy Sophea was arrested on Saturday at 2am while felling trees north of the 11th-century temple.
“He was arrested while committing the crime,” Sokha said, adding that authorities confiscated 15 logs of luxury thnong, neang nuon and beng trees, as well as a chainsaw.
Sokha said the Preah Vihear Provincial Court had charged the suspect with illegal logging on Saturday evening.
The suspect allegedly confessed during questioning that he came from Tbong Khmum province to live in Sra Em commune, in Choam Ksan district, for more than a month in order to cut trees there.
Security guard Sem Sophat, who works at the Preah Vihear temple conservation area, said Sophea had insisted he had been working on his own.
“He said that he does it by himself because he wants to earn a lot of money to support his family,” Sophat said.