Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Luxury timber goes to Vietnam en masse

Motorbikes loaded with illegal luxury timber wait to cross the border from Ratanakkiri province into Vietnam yesterday.
Motorbikes loaded with illegal luxury timber wait to cross the border from Ratanakkiri province into Vietnam yesterday. Photo supplied

Luxury timber goes to Vietnam en masse

While crowds gathered in Phnom Penh to watch Cambodia’s Independence Day parade, a different sort of procession drew the attention of villagers in Ratanakkiri province yesterday, with hundreds of motorbikes flooding across border checkpoints loaded with luxury timber.

The spectacle, which on a smaller scale can be witnessed almost every day, according to provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, Chhay Thy, proceeded uninhibited across four Vietnamese border crossings in Ratanakkiri.

“A hauling by this many motorbikes has never taken place before; there were about 200 motorbikes today,” Thy said. “It looked like a parade; especially given it was Independence Day.”

Most days, Thy said, about 100 reinforced motorbikes cross in Andong Meas and Taveng districts carrying about half a cubic metre of timber, which costs $100 in Cambodia and sells for up to $500 in Vietnam.

Calling government anti-smuggling efforts “ineffective”, Thy said the drivers were mostly from local ethnic groups and predominantly transported thnong timber, which a 23-year-old villager, who declined to be named, said was logged locally and shipped across the border without interference thanks to corruption.

“They pay the money to border police,” he said. “[It costs] $2.50 or more per motorbike.”

Andong Meas district police chief Sovann Thin denied such large-scale smuggling was occurring. Thin said only two or three motorbikes snuck across the border each day.

He added that he would investigate Thy’s claims.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Explore the durian and rubber farms of Kampong Cham

Take a drive north of Kampong Cham, past the dirt roads and the dense greenery.

Kem Sokha talks politics, power and Hun Sen

Kem Sokha, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, sat down with The Post’s Alex Willemyns and Mech Dara to discuss his supporters’ initial disappointment with this year’s

NEC officials tally votes during a recount last week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia’s National Election Committee last week rejected 33 of 61 complaints filed over the conduct of June 4’s commune election, according to a s

People search for their names on the voter lists at a polling station in Kampong Cham’s Veal Vong commune earlier this month.

Four years ago, when the opposition snatched Kampong Cham away from the ruling party in 2013 national elections, it hinted at a deeper shift taking