Authorities in Ratanakkiri province have confiscated about 700 small pieces of luxury-grade wood found on an empty plot of land belonging to Yeay Pralit, a timber trader whom local authorities had long suspected of committing forest crimes, deputy provincial court prosecutor Hak Phoan said on Sunday.
The haul of Beng and Thnong wood, which measured 7 cubic meters in total, was found on the Banlung City property on Friday and taken to the Forestry Administration’s Ratanakkiri cantonment, Mr. Phoan said.
“We found the wood on the land after receiving information from the deputy Banlung City Hall governor, Un Sideth, because he saw a truck that was transporting wood to the land,” Mr. Phoan said.
Local authorities had so far lacked evidence to take action against Ms. Pralit, who did not have a permit for timber trading, Mr. Phoan said.
The Forestry Administration has been asked to open an investigation into the suspected timber tycoon, he said.