The Preah Vihear provincial court is holding two suspects in prison for allegedly clearing state forest land after officials caught them in the act in Chheb district on Tuesday.
Provincial court spokeswoman Chum Kaniya identified the suspects as Chun Pheavy, 32, and Vart Voeun, 48. They were investigated by Judge Tiv Kim and sent to pre-trial detention.
She said the suspects were charged with “clearing state forest land without authorisation” under Article 6 and Article 97 of the Forestry Law.
Provincial director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Ping Tryda said on Thursday that the two suspects used their tractors to clear forest near the forest restoration centre in M’lou Prey I commune’s Porteap village.
Officials estimate they cleared 6.06ha.
Preah Vihear provincial Military Police commander Kang Sao Kun said on Wednesday that his forces cooperated with officials from the province’s Forestry Administration and local police to stop the two suspects.
Forestry Administration Provincial director Nuon Sokhom was quoted by a local newspaper as saying that Voeun claimed to be the owner of the land he was ploughing.