Nearly 500 pieces of illegal first-grade timber were seized in a series of busts conducted by police across three different provinces this week.
The Stung Treng Provincial Court on Wednesday charged three men – Hong Kimsreng, 54, Nguon Pheak Na, 32, and Chhum Sok Kong, 28 – after they were arrested driving a van carrying 134 pieces of first-grade wood without a licence in Stung Treng commune on Monday.
“We have charged them with collecting and transporting [illegal luxury timber], according to . . . articles 96 and 98 of the Forestry Law,” court spokesperson Sun Yoeurth said.
In the same province, a separate van containing 25 pieces of luxury wood was yesterday seized in Preah Bat commune by provincial police.
Meanwhile, in Kampong Chhnang province, a car loaded with 181 pieces of endangered rosewood – weighing a total of 531 kilograms – was confiscated by the provincial Forestry Administration and economic police in Rolea Ba’ier district’s Banteay Preal commune on Wednesday.
“I don’t know how many people were in the car, but when my forces intercepted, [all] the people in the car escaped,” said Yin Sophat, director of the provincial economic crimes office, adding that he believed the car had been headed for the capital from Pursat province.
In yet another case, 135 pieces of first-grade wood were confiscated in Kratie’s Svay Chreah commune during a joint bust on Wednesday.