One man has been arrested and more than 100 planks of second-grade luxury timber seized by authorities in Kampong Thom yesterday.

Hang Vunn, 22, was arrested by Sandan district police after he was found to be operating an illegal sawmill in Sochetr commune.

District Police Chief Oung Moly said 101 planks of sawn timber were confiscated, along with two logs and a sawmill.

“We have sent the suspect and evidence to Sandan district Forestry Administration,” Moly said. “People saw and reported to the authorities.”

Vunn said he was hired to saw wood for three people, who he did not identify and who fled the scene before his arrest.

Hoeung Sophear, a member of the Prey Lang forest community in Kampong Thom, welcomed the arrest but asked authorities to focus on the big players rather than lower level loggers.

“We must crackdown on all, not only the simple people but also the rich tycoon or businessperson,” he said.

“This is the reason for the great forest destruction. This action is just a small part, but it [alone] will not make it possible to reduce forest crime.”

Moly said he had written a report and requested the Sandan district Forestry Administration to further work on the case. Its chief, Sao Vanny, could not be reached for comment yesterday.