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RCAF plates sported in logging bust

RCAF plates sported in logging bust

Two Toyota Land Cruisers and a Royal Cambodian Armed Forces truck were stopped yesterday in Mondulkiri’s Pech Chreada district bearing some 50 logs of illegal timber and numerous pieces of luxury wood furniture, police said.

The vehicles, loaded with thnong and neang nuon timber, were impounded, said Chreum Bren, deputy district police chief.

“One truck had an RCAF number plate,” Bren said. “We stopped them because the [furniture] is illegal. The owner did not ask permission from the authorities.”

Bren said the authorities would not arrest the timber’s owner – a villager he declined to name – since he had simply bought the lumber, not logged it himself.

“The owner was just transporting the forest by-product illegally. He did not log it or cut it down, so he will not be arrested under the law,” he said. “The forestry officers only have the right to call him to pay a fine.”

Authorities are, however, investigating how RCAF came to be involved, Bren added.

Keb Kort, provincial Forestry Administration director, said yesterday that he was not aware of the case.

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