Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Big timber stash found in Pursat

Big timber stash found in Pursat

Big timber stash found in Pursat

An NGO operating in the Pursat section of the protected Cardamom Mountains uncovered 50 cubic metres of luxury timber yesterday.

Chea Hean, director of the Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organisation, said he and four colleagues uncovered the illicit stash as part of an ongoing investigation, the results of which he promised to turn over to the Environment Ministry next week.

“That timber belongs to prominent traders, but they use the [local] people as a cover,” Hean said, going on to allege that environmental protection officials play a role in the practice too.

Provincial environment department director Pan Morodok said he had heard such allegations before, but considered them “groundless”.

Hean’s discovery came on the heels of the Monday declaration by Prime Minister Hun Sen that Forestry and Fisheries Administration employees will be transferred to provincial departments of agriculture. Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon followed up with a letter instructing the relevant departments to begin preparations for the transfer.

The director of the ministry’s human resources department, Ty Channa, said yesterday he was busy making arrangements for the transfer, which he hoped would enhance effectiveness.

Marcus Hardtke, who has two decades’ experience with Cambodian conservation issues, feared accountability would suffer. “If it all comes down to the provincial governor . . . [then] Hun Sen needs to keep an eye on the governors, and he can only do that by cooperating with civil society, because they’re his only source of information”.

Additional reporting by Jack Davies

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially