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Ratanakkiri police seize timber, build court cases

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Timber found in a river in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district. Police

Ratanakkiri police seize timber, build court cases

Ratanakkiri provincial police have handed over a mix of 33 pieces of timber to provincial environmental officials as evidence to build a court case after they were seized in O’Yadav district.

Provincial Department of Environment director Phon Khemerin said on Monday that he had received many kinds of timber from experts this month.

A joint force conducted an operation on July 11 near Kampong Chamlang on the Tonle Sesan River in O’Yadav district’s Sesan commune.

“I saw all of the pieces already. Now our officials are measuring them,” Khemerin said.

Provincial Military Police commander Thav Yen said: “We handed over the evidence to environment officials for further legal proceedings.

“But a timber owner managed to escape. We have continued to carry out this crackdown, not forgiving any timber trader. We have taken measures in all forms against them,” Yen said.

He said that ahead of the operation, police forces had used motorboats to patrol the river in the district. Then, they spotted the timber hidden there by traders. They seized the timber and handed it over to provincial environment officials for further legal proceedings.

In a separate case last month, a joint force in Kampong Speu raided a timber-processing facility in Sangke Satoap commune in Oral district, seizing 25 pieces of second-grade timber. The owner escaped.

Kampong Speu provincial Department of Environment deputy director Nov Nak said on Monday that some 50 joint police forces raided a timber-processing facility. All the timber was hidden in a pond.

“We cracked down on the facility. We didn’t meet with a facility owner as he escaped. A house connected to the facility was locked.

“Then we requested the top leadership to decide to raid the location. But the owner lifted the timber into the water and secretly transported away some wood-cutting machines,” Nak said.

ACNCIPO director Chea Hean said his organisation had joined the local authorities to crack down on the offences. “But regrettably, they didn’t detain the timber owner.

“Besides the timber, we found some samples of wood-cutting machines dismantled by traders,” he said.

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