Prey Veng provincial authorities intercepted sand being stored in two facilities that was allegedly destined for Vietnam, but the smugglers were let off the hook with a warning.
Chea Kakada, director of the provincial Department of Mines and Energy, said that after receiving information from local authorities, he and other officials went to inspect the area in Preah Sdech district and found two sand storage facilities.
One of them was storing 300 cubic metres of sand while the second was storing 100 cubic metres. Neither had a permit to export. On the same property, however, machinery was installed to dredge sand and pump it across the river to Vietnam.
“[The suspect at the first site] had aimed to sell it to Vietnam at the border,” he said. “But he had not yet distributed [the sand] yet. We found out about it in time.”
According to Kakada, the owners of the storage facilities are local residents, but he was unable to provide their names. He said both suspects were “educated” about their crimes, and the one with machinery installed was ordered to dismantle the equipment.
“We have made records for the two facilities already because the [Ministry of Mines and Energy] strictly banned exports,” he said, adding that if they were caught again, they would be punished under the law.
Both suspects had bought the sand from four or five depots, with the firms warned to no longer do business with the men.
Meanwhile, San Darith, director of the Mondulkiri Provincial Mines and Energy Department, said his officials were still monitoring possible illegal exports to Vietnam.