Alleged Wood Smugglers Crash in Kratie; Two Dead

Two men died and three others were seriously injured when a truck they were using to smuggle illegally logged wood overturned in Kratie province’s Prek Prasap district early Saturday morning, police said Sunday.

According to district police chief Men Bunthoeun, the truck—which was loaded down with 6.4 cubic meters of second-grade timber—had been speeding toward Kratie City on a narrow gravel road and rolled into a canal when it tried to avoid another vehicle stopped on the side of the road.

Mr. Bunthoeun declined to say what kind of protected wood the men had been transporting, and said he did not know where it had originated.

Two of the truck’s passengers died instantly, while the driver and two other men survived and were sent to the provincial referral hospital later on Saturday before being transferred to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh on Sunday, he said.

“We handed the wood over to the Chrouy Banteay Forestry Administration triage,” he said.

“We are now building a case to send to the provincial court because the wood was illegal.”

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