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Nine illegal timber trucks impounded

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The National Committee for Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes impounded nine trucks used to transport timber. Photo supplied

Nine illegal timber trucks impounded

The National Committee for Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes on Monday impounded nine trucks used to transport timber to Vietnam through Kratie province’s Snuol district.

Committee spokesman Eng Hy declined to provide details, citing the ongoing investigation.

“We are still working on the case and have not decided on the next step,” he said.

Provincial Military Police commander San Bun Than declined to comment on Monday.

Heng Sros, a forest activist in the province, claimed the processed timber belonged to Siemon (Cambodia) Agriculture Comprehensive Development Co, Ltd, which is registered with the General Department of Taxation as a company that deals in crops and acacia trees.

He said the trucks transported first- and second-grade processed wood from the company in Stung Sekong commune in Treng province’s Siem Pang district to the Vietnamese border through Kratie province.

A joint operation headed by the Committee, he said, intercepted the trucks in Kratie’s Snuol district. Upon inspection, the authorities found the company had obtained permits from Stung Treng provincial Forestry Administration and the Ministry of Commerce to transport the processed timber abroad.

Despite the permits, the move ran counter to the government’s 2016 directive banning all timber exports from the Kingdom.

As of Monday evening, he continued, the authorities had not allowed the trucks to transport the timber to Vietnam.

“If the authorities allow the trucks to transport timber to Vietnam, that would undermine the government’s efforts in combating and preventing natural resource crime,” he said.

Earlier this month, National Military Police commander and committee chairman Sao Sokha warned members of the armed forces and their family against involvement in forestry crime or colluding with traders.

He said failure to comply would result in punishment regardless of the legality of the timber trade.

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