Ethnic Lao and the local authorities in Stung Treng province’s Sesan district have accused the Srekor commune police chief of being a timber “gangster” and selling protected wood to tycoon Kith Meng, who has a stake in the nearby Lower Sesan II hydropower project.
Thy Sun Y, the police chief, has been seizing luxury thnong and selling it on to the owner of a local timber depot owned by Meng, according to villagers, who yesterday spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity.
The community in Srekor began to log the nearby forests on an industrial scale after a concession to log the Lower Sesan II reservoir area was granted in late 2013.
Srekor commune chief Siek Mekong confirmed the villagers’ claims. “I’m not taking the loggers’ side, but it’s not right that he deals timber and is also a police officer,” he said.
But Sun Y denied the allegations yesterday.
“Normally, the timber is not legal. It’s piled up in the forest. We see no owners and we confiscate it. I am not involved in trading timber,” he said.