Environment officers captured three men on Monday after a long pursuit through the Phnom Sankos Wildlife Sanctuary in Pursat.
The Pursat provincial court yesterday charged 20-year-olds Korng Puth and Bork Oem and 31-year-old Rien Rob for illegally clearing more than a hectare of trees in the sanctuary.
Environment officers, acting on a tip, inspected the land on Monday and found 15 men chopping down protected trees, Thai Chantha said, director of the provincial Environment Department.
“The men immediately ran into the jungle when they saw our officers, however we chased them and managed to catch three men with permission from the court,” he said.
“It took many hours to find the suspects in the jungle. They were employed to clear the forest so we are now searching for that employer.”
If found guilty the three men could face up to 10 years in prison under Article 97 of the Cambodian forestry law.