Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court officials mum on rosewood suspects’ fate

Court officials mum on rosewood suspects’ fate

Authorities unload illegal rosewood from a petrol tanker on Sunday after it was seized in Siem Reap province. Photo supplied
Authorities unload illegal rosewood from a petrol tanker on Sunday after it was seized in Siem Reap province. Photo supplied

Court officials mum on rosewood suspects’ fate

Authorities in Siem Reap remained tight-lipped yesterday regarding five men – two of them purportedly members of the military – who were arrested on Sunday in connection with 8 tonnes of Siamese rosewood stashed inside an empty petrol tanker.

Two of the men were charged earlier this week with illegally transporting timber products. But the fate of the remaining three – two of whom allegedly identified themselves as soldiers – continued to be a mystery as of yesterday evening.

Asked about the trio yesterday, provincial prosecutor’s office spokesman Ream Channy said he was in Phnom Penh and had yet to hear from the prosecutor in charge of the case, Keut Vannareth, to whom he directed enquiries.

Vannareth in turn referred questions back to Channy, before hanging up on a reporter. Reached again, Channy suggested contacting provincial court administrator Yin Sreng.

“Please send me a message, I will check and get back to you,” said Sreng, who did not reply to a subsequent message.

Sunday’s bust was one of the largest seizures of Siamese rosewood this year. Conservationist Marcus Hardtke said in text messages yesterday that it should serve as a wake-up call to the government.

“It’s time for the government to recognise that this is organised crime, similar to the drug trade,” Hardtke said. “Cover-ups and shady deals will not solve this problem.”

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors