Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Company owners, employees arrested over huge timber raid



Company owners, employees arrested over huge timber raid

One of three helicopters deployed to support police during  a timber raid in Preah Vihear province earlier this week. Photo supplied.
One of three helicopters deployed to support police during a timber raid in Preah Vihear province earlier this week. Photo supplied.

Company owners, employees arrested over huge timber raid

The owners of Hong Sopheap Development Company in Preah Vihear have been arrested days after military police carried out a massive raid on a 4,000 hectare social land concession (SLC) that the company holds a licence to log.

Military police spokesman Eng Hy confirmed the arrests, adding that two employees had also been arrested. Hy did not name those arrested, but the Ministry of Commerce’s corporate database lists the company’s directors as Bun Hong and Say Sopheap. All four stand accused of illegally logging in protected forests bordering the SLC. Sunday’s raid was the first time helicopters had been deployed by the military police in an anti-logging action, which saw three choppers accompanying 200 ground troops.

Preah Vihear Provincial Governor Un Chanda said the company was granted the licence to clear the SLC in 2015 to make way for housing for soldiers from Brigade 7, but that local authorities were tipped off that it was overstepping its bounds after felled timber was discovered by authorities in a nearby conservation area.

“We verified that timber felled by the company [outside the SLC] was being kept on their premises among leftover scraps of wood,” Chanda said. “We [also] found 90 pieces of wood in the conservation area near the temple.”

Meanwhile, in Ratanakkiri province, military police confiscated 200 pieces of luxury timber en-route to Vietnam in O’Yadav district’s Sesan commune on Wednesday, according to the national military police news wire.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting