Three boats carrying three containers with 53 pieces of luxury wood allegedly intended for export to Vietnam were confiscated by the Customs Navigation Office in Kampot province’s Prek Thnout commune on Tuesday, Kampot Military deputy police chief Keo Sophal said.
Sophal said he was unaware of the total weight and measurements of the wood as he was not involved in the operation. He said the raid was carried out by the national Military Police in cooperation with the Customs Navigation Office.
The Crime Prevention Department at the General Department of Customs said officials made the bust at 10pm when they found the boats sinking.
The report said all the wood is being kept by authorities and will be sent for further investigation.
Khan Sophal, the deputy prosecutor of the Kampot Provincial Court, said he had received information that three illegal containers of luxury wood were confiscated by police, but he hadn’t received a detailed report yet.
Environmental activist Ouch Leng said before and after the election, police would use its raids to gain publicity.
“I see the crackdown activities as if they are not accidental. Police go on raids or take videos to show on TV.”
Natural Resource and Wildlife Conservation Society head Chea Hean said: “Generally, illegal wood transportation in the provinces along the coast of Cambodia to Vietnam is mostly done with big trucks.
“But due to constant rain over the last two weeks, the traders have begun to use boats.”
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said in May that last year, the ministry made 5,353 raids involving wildlife and forestry crimes.