More than a tonne of rosewood and the plateless car carrying it were seized in Oddar Meanchey province yesterday after authorities received a report about a Vietnamese woman and her workers trying to set the vehicle on fire.
According to Trapaing Brei Commune Police Chief Hing Thoeng, villagers claimed the Vietnamese woman, Nguyen Thimay, is a prominent illegal timber trader in Anlong Veng and Trapaing Prasat districts, a claim she denied yesterday.
“According to the claim of villagers . . . the woman ordered the workers to pour the gasoline on the car fully loaded with timber in an attempt to burn it down and destroy the evidence, but the villagers stopped [them],” Thoeng said.
He added that provincial Forestry Administration officials impounded the vehicle and 1,082 kilograms of timber at the station awaiting further action.
But speaking yesterday, Thimay insisted she ”did not know anything”. “I think that the villagers confused me with another person,” she said.
Provincial Forestry Administration Chief Im Savrith said authorities are searching for the owner of the car and timber.