Police in Kampot confiscated 10 tonnes of luxury wood on Friday night from an agricultural development company with nearly 10,000 hectares in economic land concessions in the province.
In Va, deputy chief of the Kampot police, said police and military authorities raided the World Tristar Entertainment Company – part of the So Nguon Group Company – in Trapaing Phlaing commune’s Prek Peay village, in Chhouk district.
“The wood is being kept at the So Ngoun Group Company’s warehouse,” said In Va. “We’re still trying to figure out how the company has transported this wood from the forest into its warehouse.”
Neak Oknha So Nguon, the company’s chairman, said the wood was legally acquired on his company’s land in Chhouk district, which was given to him as an economic land concession in 2005 and came with a 70-year lease.
He said that prior to the Water Festival, he received permission for the logging from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.
Minh Sorphorn, chief of the Economic Police Department at the Ministry of Interior, said the illegal wood – which came from Kranhoung trees – was potentially worth millions of dollars if sold in neighbouring countries’ markets.
“We have already reported this to our top leaders and are asking for their ideas or orders for what we’ll do next with this company,” said Minh Sorphorn.
In addition to agricultural development, the So Nguon Group Company has built an apartment complex and hotel, and runs transportation and shipping businesses in the Kingdom.