The weekend saw a raft of timber busts across the country, less than a fortnight after the prime minister renewed his perennial demand that authorities do more to combat the illegal timber trade.
Yesterday morning, Mondulkiri Provincial Court charged Phan Sina, 68, owner of Kiri Syna, a charcoal company, with illegally harvesting forest products after a stockpile of luxury wood was uncovered at the company’s offices in Keo Seima district, according to court spokesman So Sovichea.
“The [investigating] judge decided to place him under pre-trial detention,” Sovichea said. “We found more than 100 pieces of luxury wood.”
Meanwhile, the Forestry Administration (FA) had a busy Friday. According to postings on its Facebook page, its officers seized 252 pieces of luxury timber in Stung Treng town’s Srah Russey commune in collaboration with provincial authorities.
In Ratanakkiri province, working with O’Yadav district authorities, the FA claimed to have seized 67 pieces of first-grade timber in the district capital’s Sesan commune.
And in Kratie province’s Snuol district, the FA partnered with the National Police for two separate busts. One, in the district capital’s Khyoem commune reportedly netted 62 pieces of luxury timber, while another in Sre Cha commune saw two arrested alongside a seizure of 30 pieces.
FA officials were not reachable yesterday to comment on the seizures reported on the agency’s Facebook page.