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Mondulkiri councillor suspected of arson

Mondulkiri councillor suspected of arson

WHOEVER committed a suspected arson attack on a Forestry Administration building in Mondulkiri province remained at large Monday, though authorities said they had identified a local commune councillor accused of involvement in an illegal logging case police have suggested is related to the fire.

Two days before the suspicious blaze, illegal loggers reportedly opened fire on Forestry Administration officials working in the office involved in trying to disrupt the route of two trucks loaded with illegal logs headed to the Vietnamese border.

Sre Preah commune chief Peup Pe said he could not apprehend the commune councillor believed to have been involved in that incident because the case was outside his jurisdiction.

“This is the duty of forestry officials because they have the evidence to charge him,” he said.

He said he had not been asked by Forestry Administration officials to make any arrests in the case.

Sambath Methany, the commune’s deputy police chief, also said he was not involved, but would be happy to get investigate if he were to be approached by officials from the forestry office.

The head of the district’s Forestry Administration office, Sarou Rattana, could not be reached for comment.

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