Wood Truckers Caught Plowing Over Roadblock

Military police in Kratie province seized two large trucks packed with luxury wood and arrested the five people on board on Sunday night after they plowed through one roadblock and were brought to a stop by a second.

Provincial military police commander San Bunthan said on Monday that the two trucks were driving along National Road 7 toward Vietnam and knocked aside two police cars parked across the road at about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.

He said police then placed a pickup truck in their path further down the road, which managed to stop them.

“The trucks hit the barricade to escape, but the police then used a truck to block the road. Then we stopped them and arrested five people,” he said.

Mr. Bunthan said both trucks were loaded with large blocks of luxury-grade Thnong wood, which can fetch thousands of dollars per cubic meter.

The men in the trucks, he said, told them that they had been hired to transport the wood to Vietnam by a woman named Heng Samneang.

He said the men were still in his custody and that the case would be handed over soon to the Forestry Administration. Prime Minister Hun Sen in February ordered a moratorium on all timber exports to Vietnam, many of which are done illegally.

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