Four Detained After Ratanakkiri Timber Raid

Ratanakkiri police raided the house of a suspected illegal timber merchant on Wednesday morning, arresting four people and seizing a large quantity of what may be luxury-grade wood along with three vehicles purportedly used to traffic the timber, a police official said.

The raid in Banlung City’s Boeng Kanseng commune followed local police officers witnessing vehicles transporting wood to and from the house over the past few weeks, municipal police chief Huot Borey said.

“We have arrested four people during the raid,” he said, adding that he did not yet know whether the owner of the house was among the four detained as they were still being questioned at the local police station.

Mr. Borey said that both the species and the amount of wood, which had been sawn into short planks, were currently unknown as officials from the Forestry Administration were still counting and measuring the timber, but he believed it to be a luxury-grade variety.

A Lexus car, a van and a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck were also confiscated during the raid, he added.

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