Two military officials were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly transporting nearly 100 pieces of illegal timber in a military truck in Battambang’s An-long Vil district, military police said yesterday.
According to To Di, director of the provincial military police’s justice department, two military officials from RCAF Region 4’s army unit – identified as Ngoeurm Samnang, 26, and Svay Nhoeurn, 44 – were arrested after their military truck carrying 98 pieces of luxury timber was intercepted by authorities during a crackdown on Wednesday.
“The military officials and the evidence . . . have been brought and impounded at the central station at Battambang Forestry Administration for interrogation and case preparation,” he said.
Chhoem Sereyvichra, director of the provincial Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department, said yesterday that the officials were being interrogated to find out the owner and source of the timber.
Nhoeurn’s father, 68-year-old Svay Nhi, said Nhoeurn had never engaged in the timber business before he joined the army six months ago, as they worked as farmers. “I do not know what he did during the six months when he served the army, but I believe that my son is a good kid, good husband, good father and good soldier.”
Director Ly Choubieng and deputy director Pit Phirak of the provincial Forestry Administration could not be reached for comment yesterday.