Police in Kampong Cham province on Monday found a haul of 41 rosewood logs in a Lexus heading towards the Vietnamese border, while police in Stung Treng province discovered some 30 cubic metres of illegal timber on Sunday. No suspects were arrested in either case.
Sreng Theary, Kampong Cham’s anti-economic crimes police chief, said authorities tried to halt the Lexus in a routine traffic stop, but the vehicle accelerated to make a getaway. He said officers ultimately found it abandoned on the roadside 10 kilometres away.
“[The] driver abandoned it and escaped,” he said.
Inside the car, police found five fake licence plates from three provinces, as well as the US state of California; an unofficial windshield display printout of the Military Police logo; and 41 rosewood logs hidden inside the bumpers and chassis of the vehicle.
Separately, hundreds of planks of first- and second-grade wood were discovered in Stung Treng’s Thala Barivat district on Sunday, said Var Sophan, provincial anti-economic crimes police chief.
The stockpile was about 200 metres from a road, and within state-owned land surrounded by forest, Sophan said, adding that authorities are searching for the owner – though they said they do not know who that might be. Authorities impounded the timber at the provincial Forestry Administration office.