Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Company's logging licence frozen in Preah Vihear

Company's logging licence frozen in Preah Vihear

Vietnamese nationals who were arrested in Mondulkiri for illegal logging activities earlier this month were in possession of excavators bearing the logo of Duong Sruoch Group. Photo supplied
Vietnamese nationals who were arrested in Mondulkiri for illegal logging activities earlier this month were in possession of excavators bearing the logo of Duong Sruoch Group. Photo supplied

Company's logging licence frozen in Preah Vihear

The Agriculture Ministry has frozen the Duong Sruoch Group’s licence to log in Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district, after the company allegedly failed to honour its pledge to build a road for the locals.

According to District Governor Chea Kim Seng, the land was originally granted to the community as a social land concession in order to build a new village with a road leading to it. Local authorities did not have the ability to clear the land, so it was subcontracted to the company, along with the building of the road.

The Ministry of Agriculture granted Duong Sruoch a licence to log the area, but Kim Seng claims that after the company cleared the forest, the road never materialised.

Kim Seng, who was not district governor when the agreement was made around six years ago, said he checked old records.

“I rechecked their terms and conditions, and the company promised to build a road … They didn’t follow their condition, so I informed the provincial governor,” said Kim Seng, adding the company had logged 1,545 hectares of land.

Kim Seng first filed a complaint to the provincial governor in May 2017, but Agriculture Minister Veng Sokhorn didn’t freeze the licence until January 11.

He said now that the area is cleared, the local authorities will build the road themselves and allow 700 villagers to relocate to the area.

Keo Oum Malis, deputy director of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that normally social land concessions are only given to the poor or soldiers, and said any decision to pass it on to a private company was made by provincial authorities alone.

Duong Sruoch could not be reached today, and it’s unclear if the company will face consequences. It is also under investigation in Mondulkiri province, where eight of its suspected employees were arrested for illegal logging earlier this month.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said