Source: Radio Free Asia
Reported by Khmerization
Officials from Lorm village, O'Yadoa district of Rattanakiri province have said that 4 Vietnamese nationals were arrested on 7th May for attempting to transport timbers out of Cambodia to Vietnam, report Radio Free Asia.
One villager said: "They have entered our territories and cut down a lot of trees. We don't know how many times they did this. We have arrested them once before in that place, but they still come again. The Vietnamese border guards and the Cambodian police from O'Yadao came and they wanted to us to make a compromise (by releasing them)."
Villagers said that the Cambodian police threatened and coerced them to release those 4 Vietnamese, but the villagers refused.
Mr. Souvann Khamvan, deputy police chief of Rattanakiri, said that the crackdown on illegal logging is the duty of the O'Yadao police. He said: "Those 4 Vietnamese nationals were arrested by the villagers."
Mr. Chhay Thy, Adhoc investigator based at O'Yadao said that he is monitoring the issue. He said tha if the 4 Vietnamese illegal loggers were released it will be a conspiracy by the authority. He said: "We are investigating the case of villagers arresting the Vietnamese illagal loggers. And if they were released it would be illegal."
In July 2008, the villagers from Lorm villagers detained 5 Vietnamese trucks and electric saws and 3 motorcylces. They were arrested but the Cambodian border police released them in exchange for a little fine (bribe?).
Villagers knew that Vietnamese loggers have entered to log timbers in the areas since many months ago.
The latest news from RFA broadcast on 10th May reported that the 4 Vietnamese nationals had been released without charge after the Vietnamese authority had intervened.