Tim­ber bust nabs 13

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Phak Sean­gly

ANTI-DRUG po­lice stum­bled on hun­dreds of logs dur­ing what they ex­pected to just be a drug bust in Kratie prov­ince and ar­rested 13 peo­ple for run­ning an il­le­gal sawmill, as well as for drug pos­ses­sion.

Of­fi­cers raided a house in Kratie district on Wed­nes­day look­ing for drugs, but in­stead found a sawmill stacked with logs, in­clud­ing lux­ury tim­ber, ac­cord­ing to Un Hoiy, the Sam­bok com­mune po­lice chief.

“The op­er­a­tion was aimed at crack­ing down on a drug case, but they saw the tim­ber and Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion ex­perts came to seize it, so there are two crimes at the site,” Hoiy said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the sawmill was pro­vid­ing tim­ber to make fur­ni­ture, which was at times sold at the site as well. He added that Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials had im­pounded the tim­ber but had yet to say how much wood was found at the site.

The op­er­a­tion saw six men and seven women ar­rested, in­clud­ing the home­owner and mi­grant work­ers, and four small pack­ages of drugs and other ma­te­ri­als seized as well.

Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial Mey Vuthy could not be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day, and Kong Va­narith, pro­vin­cial deputy po­lice chief in charge of anti-drug crime, de­clined to speak about the case, say­ing he was too busy.

In an­other tim­ber bust, re­cently in­sti­tuted check­points in the prov­ince proved fruit­ful when two vans with a to­tal of 38 logs were busted on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day in Chet Borei and Sambo dis­tricts, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Po­lice.

Uong Sam­bath, Chet Borei deputy district gover­nor, said three mo­tor­cy­cles loaded with logs were also seized at the check­point but the driv­ers es­caped.

SUP­PLIED

Of­fi­cials in­spect il­le­gal tim­ber af­ter a bust on Wed­nes­day in Kratie prov­ince.

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