SUV With Military Plates Caught Smuggling Timber

The Stung Treng Provincial Court has charged a man arrested on Saturday at the wheel of an SUV packed with unlicensed luxury timber and bearing a military license plate.

Vong Ra, 42, was charged on Monday with collecting and transporting timber without a license under the Forestry Law, provincial court director Eang Kimthol said on Tuesday.

The director said Mr. Ra had denied that he was a member of the military, but added that the court had not yet ruled out the possibility.

“The court charged the driver on Tuesday and he is at the provincial prison for provisional detention,” Mr. Kimthol said.

“The license plate is real and we will work with the Defense Ministry to find out which military unit the vehicle belongs to.”

National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said Mr. Ra was arrested on Saturday afternoon in Sesan district after arriving from neighboring Ratanakkiri province with 183 pieces of Thnong wood in his SUV.

Counterfeit military plates are a common problem in Cambodia, and Mr. Hy said he did not know if the plate was real.

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