Illegal logging groups arrested

Source: Khmer Times

Seven of the arrested Vietnamese workers with confiscated chainsaws. Supplied

Eleven Vietnamese men and two Cambodian men have been arrested for border crossing offenses and logging in protected forests.
Interior Ministry immigration police officer Bun Chantha said the Cambodians and seven of the Vietnamese were arrested in Rattanakiri province’s Lumphat district on Monday.
The provincial immigration unit in collaboration with provincial environmental and forestry administration forces made the arrests.
“They were caught red-handed after they illegally crossed the border into Cambodia, cutting down sought-after trees and sawing them into pieces to take them from the forest to sell,” he said.
Police confiscated many pieces of valuable timber, eight chainsaws and other related material.
He said the other Vietnamese men were arrested while they were cutting trees in the Srey Puok wildlife protected areas of Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district on the same day.
Police confiscated three chainsaws, four motorbikes and 20 pieces of valuable timber.
Mr. Chantha said the Vietnamese suspects were charged by police with illegal entry and illegal logging.
All were being detained by Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri provincial police for questioning. A Rattanakiri provincial police officer said the seven Vietnamese men and two Cambodians were being temporarily detained at Rattanakiri provincial police station. They are due to be sent to Kratie provincial court for questioning today.
They face up to five years in prison each if convicted.

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