A joint task force of national Military Police, provincial Military Police and Forestry Administration officials confiscated a large amount of illegal timber in Kratie province’s Sambor district earlier this week, but made no arrests.

Eing Sina, head of the Kratie Forestry Administration, said the officials confiscated the wood on Monday and Tuesday.

“We don’t know how many cubic metres it is yet. We are still transporting it because it is far away, and we have not measured the wood yet,” Sina said.

According to Sina, local villagers had logged the second-grade sokrom timber from the forest and hidden it on an unused piece of state land. However, he said investigators are still searching for those responsible.

“We do not know where they would sell the timber,” Sina said. “We are looking for the people involved in this wood.”

In a separate case, law enforcement officials in Pursat province intercepted 10 trucks illegally transporting logs to be used as posts on pepper plantations in Phnom Kravanh district’s Samrong commune on Tuesday.

The rise in popularity of pepper farms has led to an increase in nonluxury trees being cut down to be made into pepper stakes.

Pursat Agriculture Department Director Lay Viseth said six of the trucks were from Pursat, while the other four came from other provinces.

Viseth said officials fined all the drivers involved and released them after they agreed not to repeat the crime, calling it a “small thing” because the wood was not valuable.