Two Charged After Scuffle With Forestry Officials

Two men were charged Monday for illegally logging a protected area in Kompong Thom province and fighting with officials after a scuffle broke out between authorities and villagers in Santuk district on Saturday, according to police.

In Tin, 37, and Tiet Be, 39, were arrested when a group of about 30 villagers tried to take back two trucks and three motorbikes that Forestry Administration officials had confiscated from 20 people suspected of illegally logging a 4-square-km patch of forest reserved for climate research, according to provincial police chief Chou Sam An.

“The Kompong Thom Provincial Court charged them with illegal logging in a protected forest area and fighting against officials,” he said Monday.

Toep Mitta, head of the Forestry Administration’s Kompong Thom cantonment, said Mr. Tin and Mr. Be were arrested as a warning to their peers.

“We scuffled with them until we arrested two leaders…to warn the other villagers,” he said.

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