Vietnam-Bound Haul of Luxury Wood Seized

Military police and customs officials seized 40 cubic meters of luxury wood from two trucks attempting to smuggle it into Vietnam through the Chan Mol international checkpoint in Tbong Khmum province, a forestry official said Monday.

Tuot Vutha, chief of the Forestry Administration’s Memot division, said authorities seized the trucks and their illegal loads of wood at the checkpoint in Memot district, but added that the truck drivers escaped.

“Two trucks full of processed wood, 40 cubic meters in all, were seized in an operation led by a mobile customs unit in cooperation with Tbong Khmum military police,” Mr. Vutha said.

“We do not know where the wood came from, but it was being smuggled into Vietnam through the Chan Mol border checkpoint last night at about 11 p.m. The drivers escaped.”

Mr. Vutha said the wood is still in the hands of the customs unit and has not yet been transferred to his forestry division. He said he did not know how the drivers managed to evade officials.

Prep Kirat, the chief of the mobile customs unit that led the operation, could not be reached for comment.

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