Authorities from Kampong Thom province’s environmental department seized 11 buffalo carts and 10 logs found at Prey Ang Ten wildlife sanctuary on Wednesday.
Department head Tob Kakada said his team was facilitated by a Kampong Thom provincial court prosecutor to intercept the carts while they were transporting illegal timber through a passage in the forest, leading to the bust.
“We have impounded the carts, but the owners escaped. If they want their carts back, they need to retrieve them legally. We will fine them according to the Law on Forestry,” he said.
Kakada noted that the perpetrators had untied the buffaloes and escaped to the forest before the authorities arrived.
The evidence – 11 carts and 10 timber logs (allegedly to be used as house construction materials) – are being temporarily stored at the sanctuary administration office in Kampong Thom’s Kraya commune.
As of press time on Thursday, Kampong Thmor forestry administration chief Soth Mary could not be reached for comment.
Their report showed the ‘perpetrators’ attempted to unload the logs, but since they were unable to do so, they abandoned the carts and ran away with the buffaloes instead.