Police in Tbong Khmum province on Thursday arrested a man for attempting to smuggle 200 small pieces of illegally logged rosewood to Vietnam by hiding the valuable timber beneath a layer of crushed cans in the back of his cargo truck, according to provincial police chief Mao Pov.
The truck was stopped at the Doung border checkpoint in Memot district on Thursday morning, Brigadier General Pov said.
“We found 200 pieces of rosewood weighing about 1,000 kg hidden under the recyclables,” he said.
In photographs of the wood posted online by local media, the pieces appear to be about 1 meter long and 15 to 20 centimeters in diameter.
Brig. Gen. Pov said the suspect—whose name he claimed not to remember—was being held at the provincial police headquarters and would be sent to the Tbong Khmum Provincial Court today.
“We are now building a case to send to court,” he said, adding that investigators had not yet determined whether the suspect had been acting alone or at the behest of someone else.
Cambodia’s rosewood trees have been devastated by illegal logging in recent years to meet soaring Chinese demand for the timber, which can fetch thousands of dollars per cubic meter.