Timber Smugglers Flee During Roadside Inspection

Authorities stopped a truck illegally transporting a load of valuable timber through Kratie province on Saturday, but failed to apprehend the driver and his assistant, who fled on foot, an official said on Sunday.

The truck was spotted on National Road 7 in Chet Borei district by two officers from the Thma Kre Forestry Administration triage, who stopped the vehicle with help from two military police officers, according to triage chief Mey Vuthy.

When the officials clambered into the bed of the truck—finding what was later determined to be 7 cubic meters of second-grade Khlong and Chheu Teal wood—the driver and his assistant leaped from the cab and ran away, Mr. Vuthy said.

He said the men likely fled because they did not have a license for transporting the timber, but would almost certainly return to pay a fine and reclaim their truck, which was being held at the Forestry Administration cantonment office in Kratie City.

“They will come back later to take the truck,” he said, adding that authorities would not attempt to arrest the men, or otherwise punish them for running away.


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