Ratanakkiri timber traders busted

Source: Phnom Penh Post 

Pieces of luxury wood are taken as evidence in Ratanakkiri province on Wednesday. facebook

Military Police in Ratanakkiri province on Wednesday confiscated 70 pieces of luxury timber that traders hid behind villagers’ homes in Pak Thom village, Pak Nhai commune, in O’Yadav district.

Forestry Administration officers are set to confiscate the wood, which was intended for export to Vietnam through the O’Yadav checkpoint.

O’Yadav district Military Police Chief Sok Min said on Thursday that the timber was being kept at the Military Police station, pending legal action by Forestry Administration officials.

“We have already made a report. However, forestry administration officers have not come to collect [the timber] and prepare the relevant reports.

“We cannot measure the wood because it comes under the authority of the provincial Forestry Administration directorate. I contacted it already, but its officers are currently busy,” Sok Min said.

O’Yadav military police officials said on Thursday that they received a tip-off from villagers about luxury wood hidden near their houses since Monday, as well as the transport of timber from other districts to the O’Yadav international checkpoint.

Among the vehicles transporting the wood, according to villagers, were three Ssang Yong vans with a load of 70 pieces dropped off near their homes. Acting on the tip-off, the authorities raided the area and seized the item.

Provincial Forestry Administration director Kep Kot declined to provide further information.

“I don’t want to speak with journalists on the phone. If there are reporters [based in the province], please come to see me at the Forestry Administration office,” he said.

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