Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Commune chief accused of clearing state forestland




Commune chief accused of clearing state forestland

Tractors sit on an area of illegally cleared forestland in Kampong Thom province's Sandan district. Photo supplied
Tractors sit on an area of illegally cleared forestland in Kampong Thom province's Sandan district. Photo supplied

Commune chief accused of clearing state forestland

A Forestry Administration official said yesterday that authorities have filed a court complaint accusing a commune chief in Kampong Thom province of clearing protected state forestland for private sale.

Sao Vanny, chief of the Forestry Administration for Sandan district, said that two tractors were seized during a crackdown on illegal forest clearing on Friday, and that authorities had also found about 3.5 hectares of forestland cleared for sale.

“After a few days of investigation, authorities realised that both tractors belonged to Huot Chheang, the chief of Sroeung commune,” Vanny said. “The authorities have made a case to charge him with secretly clearing reserved forestland of the state.”

Reached yesterday, Chheang denied that the area cleared was state-owned, claiming that a cashew farmer named “Heang” rented 5 hectares to his son.

“Before clearing, I asked for permission from the district governor . . . and [he] told me that clearing a five-hectare farm can be decided by the commune authorities if the land is private,” he said.

“Therefore, I decided to allow my son to take the job.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that