Vans busted carrying illicit timber, furniture

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Vans caught with timber and furniture sit in custody in Preah Vihear province this week. Photo supplied

Environmental officials at Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary stopped five vans and trucks transporting timber and wooden furniture in Thmey commune, Kulen district, Preah Vihear province on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Vun Thoeun, station chief of Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, said yesterday that four vans and a large truck smuggling timber and wooden furniture from illegal handicraft shops operating in Preah Vihear were stopped.

The vehicles started off in Tbeng Meanchey district and were heading to Phnom Penh when Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary’s environmental officials interevened.

Thoeun added that the vehicles had been held for two days and two nights, but expert officials had not yet examined the timber.

Inside the vehicles there were beds, chairs, tables, door frames, windows and other related items.

The five drivers were held, but four were released after they paid fines in accordance with article 59 of Laws on Natural Protected Areas.

“Officials demanded vehicles’ owners pay fines accordance to the laws. Now, we released owners and four cars, after they paid fines.

One vehicle was detained because its owner had not paid the fines yet,” Thoeun said.