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Chief’s wife charged over timber

Officials inspect some 400 logs of luxury wood that allegedly belonged to Ol Samnang, wife of the Srekor commune police chief, in February in Stung Treng province.
Officials inspect some 400 logs of luxury wood that allegedly belonged to Ol Samnang, wife of the Srekor commune police chief, in February in Stung Treng province. Photo supplied

Chief’s wife charged over timber

The wife of the Srekor commune police chief in Stung Treng province has been charged and placed in pre-trial detention for possessing some 400 logs of luxury wood near the couple’s home.

Ieng Kim Thol, Stung Treng Provincial Court chief, said yesterday that Ol Samnang, 42, spouse of Thy Sun Y, was charged on Saturday under Articles 96 and 98 of the Forestry Law for collecting and storing timber illegally.

If found guilty, Samnang would face up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of two to three times the market value of the seized timber.

According to Kim Thol, it is unknown if the court would take legal action against her police chief husband. “It is the court’s procedures . . . it is not known yet. [We] have to wait,” he said.

Sun Y was accused by villagers in May 2015 of selling protected wood to tycoon Kith Meng and of turning a blind eye to illegal fishing. This was followed by a petition in November 2015 signed by 210 families that was filed to Sesan district officials asking for his removal.

Srekor Commune Chief Siek Mekong said that Sun Y should also take responsibility for this incident.

“Sun Y says it is not his idea. I think that it is never like that. Before doing anything, they would discuss with each other. It is impossible that he does not know,” he said.

“It is not appropriate if the legal action is [only] taken on the wife.”

In a separate logging case, Pailin Provincial Forestry Administration officials on Sunday intercepted two trucks carrying 38 pieces of rosewood totaling 300 kilograms.

According to the deputy chief of the administration, Min Ravuth, the workers who were unloading the timber escaped upon seeing the authorities and the owner of the wood has not been identified.

A previous version of this article described Siek Mekong as the former Srekor Commune Chief. He is actually a former Srekor Commune Chief for the Sam Rainsy Party but the current Commune Chief for the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The Post apologises for the error.

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