Two drivers transporting more than 1.2 tons of rosewood were arrested in two separate operations in Stung Treng province and Siem Reap province on Friday and Saturday, officials said Sunday.
On Saturday, officials in Stung Treng’s Thala Barivat district stopped a Mercedes sedan after military police noticed that it was riding suspiciously low to the ground, according to Sao Sarem, deputy provincial military police commander.
“One Mercedes car with 351 kg of rosewood was illegally transporting without a document giving permission,” he said.
Mr. Sarem named the driver as Kong Bunkiet, 33, and said that he was being detained at the provincial military police headquarters until Forestry Administration officials processed the case and sent it to court.
Sam Borin, deputy chief of the Forestry Administration’s Thala Barivat triage, said he was working on the case and referred further questions to his boss, who could not be reached.
On Friday, police in Siem Reap’s Chi Kreng district arrested the driver of a Toyota Hilux Vigo pickup truck and confiscated 860 kg of rosewood from the truck’s bed and cabin, according to Tea Kimsoth, chief of the Forestry Administration’s Siem Reap cantonment.
The driver, Tong Mol, 36, attempted to flee from police on foot, but was chased down and arrested, according to Mr. Kimsoth.
“We arrested one driver of a Vigo pickup vehicle transporting 78 pieces of rosewood from Anlong Veng district in Oddar Meanchey province,” he said.
So Phalla, chief of the Forestry Administration’s Chi Kreng triage in Siem Reap, said Mr. Mol had been charged with illegally collecting and transporting rosewood and sent to the provincial prison.