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Chinese called for questioning

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The authorities last week destroyed four vehicles alleged to be used in an instance of forestry crime in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district. FACEBOOK

Chinese called for questioning

Mondulkiri Provincial Court deputy prosecutor Morm Vanda has issued a warrant ordering two Chinese nationals to answer questions regarding alleged forestry crimes, after the court last Thursday summoned two Cambodian nationals for questioning.

The court warrant, obtained by The Post on Tuesday, summoned Song Wenzhang, 68, the general manager of Thach Wood (Cambodia), who lives in Phnom Penh, and Wentao Zhang, the director of Yan Chao (Cambodia), from the capital’s Kakab commune in Por Sen Chey district, to appear at the provincial Military Police headquarters by August 9.

“Appear during working hours to answer questions regarding concealing evidence, the collection, transport and stocking of forestry products without permits and the use of machinery without displaying a sticker showing Forestry Administration approval,” the warrant read.

Wildlife Conservation Society country director Ken Serey Rotha welcomed the move.

He said deforestation in the province had reduced because the National Committee for the Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes had disrupted the market for illegal timber, but he did not expect to see illegal logging 100 per cent eliminated.

Serey Rotha said local people would like to see an independent investigation to find other people involved. People are curious, he said, and have been monitoring the case since the beginning.

He said his team reports all instances of illegal logging but it has not been effective in preventing crimes.

“It’s an opportunity for the National Committee for the Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes to showcase their skills by launching an investigation that shows the public it has teeth."

“Recently, it has gone very quiet in Mondulkiri province – what I want next is to find other people who are involved,” Serey Rotha said.

Last Thursday, the Mondulkiri Provincial Court summoned 50-year-old Neng Mao, a timber collector for the Master K Sun company from Snuol district’s Snuol commune in Kratie province, and Saing Sokhon, 27, a supervisor at the same firm from Kampong Siem district’s Koh Samrong commune in Kampong Cham province.

“Appear at Mondulkiri provincial Military Police headquarters during working hours by August 9 for questioning over the collection of timber products without permits,” said one of the summonses.

So far, eight people are under investigation regarding forestry crimes allegedly involving the owner of Master K Sun, Okhna Soeng Sam Ol.

In a separate case, on Friday and Saturday, Preah Vihear provincial Military Police, working with Forestry Administration and Environment Department officials, seized a total of 1,963 logs measuring more than 102 cubic metres in Choam Ksan district.

The timber has been impounded while the officials wait for a recommendation from Environment Minister Say Sam Al regarding further action, according to the National Police’s Facebook page.