Officials find logs hidden on riverbed

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.