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Siem Reap officials shut down timber processing facility

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The illegal sawmill in Siem Reap was raided and shuttered by police on Friday. GRK News

Siem Reap officials shut down timber processing facility

The Siem Reap provincial Forestry Administration on Monday identified the owner of an illegal wood processing facility in Siem Reap town’s Chreav commune after he escaped authorities when they raided it on Friday.

Administration chief Mong Bunlim confirmed on Monday that officials had identified the owner, who was operating his facility without the proper permits, but he couldn’t reveal the name because the investigation is ongoing.

During the raid, officials confiscated two large chainsaws and 36 first grade timber logs which were impounded at the provincial forestry administration office.

Bunlim said: “We want the owner of the facility to turn himself in and solve the issue under the law, or else we will send the case to the court.

“We questioned the workers and we know the owner’s identity, but we won’t disclose it while we wait for him to appear,” he said.

Provincial Military Police commander Por Vannit said on Monday that provincial and national Military Police cooperated with the provincial court to carry out the raid before handing the case to the Forestry Administration.

In a separate case, Kratie provincial Military Police confiscated 45 planks of first-grade timber in Snuol district on Friday after locals witnessed the crime and reported it to police.

Provincial Military Police commander San Bunthan said on Monday that the officials did not find any suspects and they’re still searching for the owner.

“We seized the wood and handed it over to the provincial Forestry Administration to take further action after the owner escaped. We are searching for the person,” he said.

Provincial Forestry Administration director Nuon Pov Ratana declined to comment.

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