Of­fi­cials find logs hid­den on riverbed

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL -

SOME 124 logs of lux­ury tim­ber were dis­cov­ered on a riverbed on Sun­day within Mon­dulkiri’s Sre­pok Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary some 500 me­tres from a mil­i­tary base, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

Din Bun­theoun, the sanc­tu­ary’s di­rec­tor, said that lo­cals first saw pieces of tim­ber on the sur­face of the Sre­pok River in Koh Nhek dis­trict’s Nang Khylek com­mune and re­ported it to the au­thor­i­ties. En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry rangers and Mil­i­tary Po­lice went to the area and found sev­eral sites along the river where sub­merged logs had been stashed.

“The wa­ter is re­ced­ing in this sea­son, that’s why vil­lagers could see it. This is not newly logged tim­ber,” Bun­theoun said, adding that it was likely hid­den four months ago dur­ing an in­spec­tion and that there are still logs re­main­ing in deeper wa­ters.

De­spite the prox­im­ity to the Royal Cam­bo­dian Armed Forces base, he said the mil­i­tary of­fi­cials he spoke to pled ig­no­rance, adding that they were pre­oc­cu­pied with pa­trolling the bor­der with Viet­nam. RCAF of­fi­cials were un­reach­able yes­ter­day.

Ch­huon Sereivuth, of the pro­vin­cial Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said he was un­aware of the case.

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