Military police arrested a soldier in Mondolkiri province on Monday night after he was found guarding a large haul of illegally logged timber that he claimed was bound for Vietnam, an official said on Tuesday.
Sak Sarun, military police commander in Keo Seima district, said that 173 pieces of luxury Beng wood and 58 pieces of first-grade Sokrom wood were discovered in a field in Sre Khtum commune after officials followed a Toyota Camry to the site.
While the driver escaped on foot after spotting the officials, Thai Vat, 47, a soldier stationed with Platoon 103, was arrested and taken in for questioning after he was found guarding the haul, Mr. Sarun said.
He told us that he was working to protect the wood for a man identified as Khlin, and he planned to transport the wood to Vietnam, he said.
Khlin, who was not further identified, was being sought, he said.
The soldier was to be sent to the provincial court today, while the wood was taken to the local Forestry Administration office, he added.
pheap@cambodiadaily.com
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