Siem Reap Provincial Court on Wednesday charged four soldiers from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) with illegally logging rosewood and placed them in pre-trial detention, an official said.
“We charged them under article 96 of the Forestry Law,” said Hok Pov, an investigating judge at the court. The soldiers were arrested after a two-hour car chase through Preah Vihear province on Tuesday.
“We arrested four soldiers who were smuggling 105 pieces of rosewood in a [Toyota] Tundra,” Hong Daravuth, director of the Siem Reap environment department, said Wednesday.
His assistant, Soeurn To, said the four soldiers, Tel Visoth, 35, Sao Van, 29, Ly Vanthon, 28 and Heng Thy, 27, were wearing their RCAF uniforms and used an RCAF license plate on the truck.
“We started chasing them at around midnight, and it went on until 2 a.m.,” Mr. To said, describing a wild chase through heavily forested terrain.
“This is the first time our department arrested soldiers with 105 pieces of best quality rosewood,” Mr. To said.
rith@cambodiadaily.com
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