Official confiscated about 6 cubic metres of luxury timber in Preah Vihear’s Chey Sen district this week in two separate busts, also detaining eight for illegally transporting timber out of the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.
Members of the Prey Lang Community Network and local police caught five men hauling timber in three mini-tractors in Thmea commune on Wednesday.
“The timber, which was cut into planks 4 metres long for house construction, was logged and transported unpermitted by local villagers,” said Kem Sokhy, one of the patrollers.
The men and their vehicles were handed over to environmental officials, along with three cubic metres of illegal timber, three chainsaws, machetes and axes.
That night, community volunteers and four environmental officers in the same district led a midnight raid against villagers in Chrach commune.
“Environment officials saw many haulers . . . Because it was at night time, only three were arrested and several others managed to escape,” said community volunteer Pork Hong.
Hong said they confiscated around 3 cubic metres of wood, a truck and one chainsaw. The timber haulers were allowed to return home that night.
Chim Monorith, deputy director of the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, said he would discuss with police and community members how to deal with the offenders.
“We will focus on forcing them to pay fines, signing contracts and educating them to stop them committing the crime,” he said.