Kampong Thom police impounded two tractors in connection with the unauthorised clearance of state forest land on Monday, but the perpetrators escaped.

Stoung district governor Neth Sary said his district’s military police and Kampong Thom provincial military police, led by Kampong Thom Provincial Court Deputy Prosecutor Say Veasna, investigated the matter and found the activity was not properly authorised.

Both tractors were handed over to the Stoung district Forestry Administration.

“At first, people hired the tractors to clear their farmland which is near the state forest land. Maybe he had already ploughed the farmland and the owner of the machine took his chance to clear the nearby state forest. He had just cleared about 1ha and villagers reported it.”

Kampong Thom provincial department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Pen Vanrith said he had also received the information and authorities are searching for the perpetrators.

Kampong Thom provincial military police chief Hang Thol said reports and notes have been handed over to law enforcement officials.