Ratanakkiri Military Police seize first-grade timber logs

(Ratanakkiri) : The Ratanakkiri provincial Military Police intercepted two four-wheel drive vehicles in Veun Sai district that were used to transport first-grade timber logs.

The timber has been seized but the police said the drivers were not found at the scene and authorities are on the lookout for those responsible.

Newly appointed provincial Military Police commander Thao Yen said on Monday that two Toyota Land Cruisers loaded with Kakoh and Koki logs were discovered by Military Police at 2.30am on Sunday in Hatpak commune’s Hatpak village.

He said during the crackdown, no one was seen in the two vehicles, but his officials discovered more logs nearby.

The officials collected the wood before handing it over to the provincial Forestry Administration so they could measure and weigh the haul and take further action.

“The timber and vehicles were impounded at the provincial Forestry Administration. They will examine and measure it,” Yen said.

Provincial Forestry Administration director Keb Kort could not be reached for comment on Monday but deputy director Hong Kea said the administration had received the logs and are measuring them.

Experts are preparing a report of the bust, he said, and the timber will become state property because no one has appeared to claim ownership.

“As of today [Monday], I have not received any report from my officials about the amount of timber seized,” Kea said.

Activists have claimed that forest crimes continue to happen every day, despite the fact that relevant authorities crack down time and time again.

A local reporter said two prominent timber traders are the children of senior provincial officials, so some officials and related institutions dare not take legal action against them.