Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Oknha accused of logging in protected forest

Oknha accused of logging in protected forest

Community members gather to inspect illegal logging activities in Preah Vihear’s Preah Roka protected forest.
Community members gather to inspect illegal logging activities in Preah Vihear’s Preah Roka protected forest. Photo supplied

Oknha accused of logging in protected forest

The environment minister has promised to investigate allegations that a tycoon-owned company is using a land concession to illegally log wood in a protected area in Preah Vihear province.

At a ministry forum on Wednesday, local residents and a representative of rights NGO Ponlok Khmer asked Environment Minister Say Sam Al to intervene to halt alleged illegal logging in the Preah Roka Wildlife Sanctuary by the Sam Oeun Sovan company, owned by Oknha Dy Duk.

Ray Bunthin, coordinator at Ponlok Khmer, alleged that the company – which has a licence to collect timber in a social land concession in Cheb and Chey Sen districts – was transporting illegally logged wood from surrounding protected areas to the concession to disguise it as “legal” timber. The company was granted permission to haul timber in the more than 4,000 hectare concession in April 2016.

“This forest is being logged daily,” Bunthin said. “Based on our inspection, there is no timber being collected from the social land concession, but the timber is brought from the Preah Roka forest and other protected forests.”

If the allegations proved to be true, Sam Al said, the perpetrators would face the courts. “If you have more information about this case, you can give it to me,” he said.

Sam Al added that he had repeatedly asked the Agriculture Ministry to stop granting licences for concessions. “Some areas were cleared and there is no more forest,” he said.

Duk could not be reached yesterday.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all