A timber processing mill has been found near the Thai-Cambodian border containing more than 700 kilograms of rosewood, Forestry Administration officers said yesterday.
Oddar Meanchey’s provincial forestry director, Tieng David, said that his staff raided a site about 400 metres from the border on Wednesday after illegal rosewood processing was reported in Konkriel commune, but the culprits escaped.
Officers reportedly seized some 500 logs and are currently on the hunt for their unidentified owner. Samroang town Forestry Administration chief Mao Borimin said they did not yet know the timber’s origin, but noted the value of even small amounts of rosewood given its current scarcity.
“The logs are only the size of a wrist. But it is still illegal; rosewood has vanished,” he said.
Provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, Srey Naren, confirmed that rosewood has all but disappeared from Cambodia and so is mostly logged and transported from Thailand.
“Villagers still take the risk of logging it in Thailand,” he said. “I have noted six or seven cases of shooting by Thai soldiers [in Oddar Meanchey] and about six deaths.”