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

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,