Officials from Pursat’s Veal Veng district and the Kravanh Kandal Wildlife Sanctuary seized a truck full of luxury thnong timber after the vehicle slipped off the road near Stung Thmey village in Pramuoy commune on Saturday evening, revealing the high-grade timber underneath a layer of corn.
Authorities said the truck appeared to have fallen off the side of the road and into a large ditch.Investigators are still looking for the driver, and investigating who owns the truck and goods, according to Veal Veng District Police Chief Theang Leng. The truck did not have a licence plate, he said.
A passenger, identified as Mean Heng, 30, from Veal Veng, was seriously injured in the crash and is in Pursat Provincial Hospital, officials said.
Cheakoe Sophanarith, director of the wildlife sanctuary, said illegal timber is sometimes hidden during transport.
“Now officials are counting and measuring the timber to prepare the lawsuit and seek the owners to take the responsibility for this case,” Sophanarith said.
A much-publicised government crackdown on illegal logging has done little to stop the practice, according to environmental activist Ouch Leng, who yesterday said the industry continues to be a “mafia-like business”.
According to Global Forest Watch, Cambodia lost more than 1.75 million hectares of tree cover from 2001 until 2015.