Two Arrested for Trying to Seize Evidence in Kompong Thom

Police in Kompong Thom province arrested two people on Saturday night when a group of about 30 villagers attempted to free their vehicles from Forestry Administration officials who had confiscated them, police said Sunday.

Provincial police chief Chou Sam An said the Forestry Administration had confiscated two trucks and three motorbikes from a group of villagers suspected of illegally logging a 4-square-km patch of forest in Santuk district reserved for climate research.

He said the outnumbered forestry officials called police when the villagers began heading off with the vehicles, and that about 40 officers arrived in response.

“We scuffled with them at about 9 p.m. last night until we arrested two of the villagers’ leaders and took back their two trucks and three motorbikes,” he said.

Mr. Sam An said no one was injured during the incident, which was the third time the villagers had attempted to take back seized property in the past month.

He said the two arrested men would be sent to the Kompong Thom Provincial Court today and could face charges of stealing evidence.

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