A string of rosewood and luxury timber busts were undertaken across several provinces over the weekend, authorities reported.
The Kampong Thom Provincial Court charged two men with illegally collecting and transporting endangered rosewood on Saturday, according to provincial prosecutor Ith Sothea.
Sothea identified the suspects as Keng Samphos, 27, and Ly Thai, 43, adding that they were arrested on Friday morning after their cars were found to be loaded with contraband timber.
“We confiscated two cars with rosewood at 4:30 in the morning. We sent them to the judge, and he decided to place them in pre-trial detention [on Saturday] for illegally collecting and transporting wood under the Forestry Law,” Sothea said.
He added that Samphos was arrested in Prasat Balang district’s Sala Visay commune while Thai was nabbed in Santuk district’s Kampong Thma commune.
Sothea could not recall how much timber was found in the cars, but local media reported that 83 pieces of rosewood and two pieces of luxury timber were confiscated.
Meanwhile, the Forestry Administration (FA) reported on its Facebook page that its Tbong Khmum office confiscated 69 pieces of rosewood in Memot district’s Dar commune on Sunday.
A separate posting by the FA said its officers in Kratie province confiscated a car loaded with 112 planks of luxury timber in Snuol district’s Snuol commune on Saturday.
Forestry officials could not be reached for comment.