Three men were sent to court yesterday for allegedly hauling more than 18 tonnes of illegally logged first-grade timber in Kampong Thom province.
Teb Nhata, Kampong Thom provincial Forestry Administration chief, said that the three suspects were arrested on Saturday morning in Trach village in Stoung district’s Kampong Chen Choeung commune while transporting thnong, a type of luxury wood, on a truck.
He said the suspects were Sun Phal, the driver, and his two companions, Mao Sakhorn and Tang Lai.
“They were arrested while they were committing the crime,” Nhata said. “The suspects were charged with collecting and hauling forestry products without permission based on Article 96 and 98 of the Forestry Law.”
If found guilty under Article 98, the three suspects could face between one to five years of imprisonment, or a fine of between 10 million and 100 million riel ($2,500 and $25,000), or a combination of the two.
Under Article 96, the fine would amount to three times the market price of the goods.
Nhata said officials seized 1,791 pieces of first grade timber, totalling more than 18 tonnes. The evidence, including the truck and timber, were impounded temporarily at the Forestry Administration office.