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Rare timber seized in sanctuary

Rare timber seized in sanctuary

A truck full of high-grade timber was seized in Kampong Speu’s Oral district on Monday afternoon by District Military Police forces and the NGO WildAid’s crime interception team, but the driver remains at large.

District Military Police Commander Sorm Puth Dara said that after receiving a tip that a truck left the Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary, he and his team set up a checkpoint on the only road that leaves the protected area.

The driver seemed to know of the checkpoint beforehand, as he abandoned the truck about 100 metres up the road and escaped, Puth Dara said.

“The seized Nissan truck . . . was loaded full with [luxury] timber,” he said.

Puth Dara theorised that the truck must have left from Koh Kong or Pursat province, as this kind of timber thnong is not known to grow in Oral district.

The Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary stretches into both provinces.

A district police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the authorities had received hints about the truck owner, but that they had to collect more evidence before taking further action.

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