Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Border province busts yield hundreds of logs

Border province busts yield hundreds of logs

A man poses for a photo with authorities and lumber on Saturday after he was detained for illegally transporting wood in Tbong Khmum province. Photo supplied
A man poses for a photo with authorities and lumber on Saturday after he was detained for illegally transporting wood in Tbong Khmum province. Photo supplied

Border province busts yield hundreds of logs

Hundreds of logs of illegal timber were seized across three eastern provinces over the weekend, despite government claims in April that it had put an end to illegal trade with Vietnam.

In Mondulkiri province, 453 logs were confiscated from three locations in Keo Seima district’s Sre Khtum commune, according to Forestry Administration district chief Choy Sokheang.

“The wood had been carried by people on their motorbikes. Vietnamese people were supposed to come and collect it, but they were stopped at the border so our officials investigated,” Sokheang said.

One stash of logs was uncovered on a rubber plantation, another on a cashew plantation, and the third in a charcoal factory located on the road to Vietnam over the course of a two-day joint operation between the Forestry Administration (FA), the prosecutor’s office, the army, military police and National Police on Thursday and Friday, Sokheang said.

In a separate case near the same charcoal factory, police stopped a car carrying 22 pieces of luxury wood, but the driver escaped, he added.

Meanwhile, Kratie province officials uncovered a sizeable haul over the weekend. FA officials in Chet Borei district’s Chang Krang commune seized 7 cubic metres of timber from a truck on Saturday afternoon, according to FA district chief Mey Vuthy.

“The driver escaped,” Vuthy said, adding the wood had been destined for sale in Tbong Khmum and Prey Veng provinces.

Tbong Khmum forestry officials also were busy on Saturday, seizing 80 pieces of luxury wood in Ponhea Krek district’s Korng Kang commune, according to Hak Seak Lim, spokesman for the provincial prosecutor’s office.

A posting on the Forestry Administration’s Facebook page said 37-year-old Tuon Rith was arrested along with the timber.

At the start of the year, a taskforce was established at the prime minister’s request to crack down on illegal logging in the Kingdom. In April, the taskforce announced it had put an end to timber smuggling across the border with Vietnam.

Asked yesterday if the weekend’s seizures indicated the crackdown had not been as decisive as originally thought, taskforce spokesman Eng Hy was adamant that was not the case.

“There is no wood being transported to Vietnam, and anyone who says there is doesn’t know what they’re saying,” Hy said. “The committee continues to work. When there is crime, there will be an arrest.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

    A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday. Wong Chen, a member of the People’s

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not