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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making