Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Big timber stash found in Pursat



Big timber stash found in Pursat

Big timber stash found in Pursat

An NGO operating in the Pursat section of the protected Cardamom Mountains uncovered 50 cubic metres of luxury timber yesterday.

Chea Hean, director of the Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organisation, said he and four colleagues uncovered the illicit stash as part of an ongoing investigation, the results of which he promised to turn over to the Environment Ministry next week.

“That timber belongs to prominent traders, but they use the [local] people as a cover,” Hean said, going on to allege that environmental protection officials play a role in the practice too.

Provincial environment department director Pan Morodok said he had heard such allegations before, but considered them “groundless”.

Hean’s discovery came on the heels of the Monday declaration by Prime Minister Hun Sen that Forestry and Fisheries Administration employees will be transferred to provincial departments of agriculture. Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon followed up with a letter instructing the relevant departments to begin preparations for the transfer.

The director of the ministry’s human resources department, Ty Channa, said yesterday he was busy making arrangements for the transfer, which he hoped would enhance effectiveness.

Marcus Hardtke, who has two decades’ experience with Cambodian conservation issues, feared accountability would suffer. “If it all comes down to the provincial governor . . . [then] Hun Sen needs to keep an eye on the governors, and he can only do that by cooperating with civil society, because they’re his only source of information”.

Additional reporting by Jack Davies

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.