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Date set for auction of seized timber

Authorities examine illegal timber in a warehouse in Tbong Khmum province during a logging crackdown earlier this year. Photo supplied
Authorities examine illegal timber in a warehouse in Tbong Khmum province during a logging crackdown earlier this year. Photo supplied

Date set for auction of seized timber

The Ministry of Economy and Finance yesterday announced that the first auction of illegal timber seized from economic land concessions during an ongoing crackdown will be held on June 27 through July 1 in Mondulkiri.

The 60,000 cubic metres of wood to be sold at the auction comes from seven companies in Mondulkiri and is worth about $12 million. The anti-logging commission formed in January to combat the trade has seized more than 70,000 cubic metres so far this year.

“Individuals or entities, except people who used to commit forestry crimes and owe debts to the state, can join the bidding,” Suong Mengkea, director of the bidding committee, said in a statement.

The Ministry of Finance did not say what will happen to the proceeds. Hun Sen had said in May that revenue from the auction would go to the Ministry of Education. Government spokesman Phay Siphan, however, said in May that the Education Ministry was not guaranteed to get all of the revenue.

The Ministry of Education could not be reached yesterday.

Timber tycoon Try Pheap last month vowed not to participate in the auction to avoid public criticism.

The seven companies include Dainam, Daithan, Khmer Angkor Agriculture, Master K Son, Lim Royal, Unigreen, and Binh Phouc. Among these companies, Dainam has the most timber, with 26,163 cubic metres.

Kiv Leakhena, an officer with the Forestry Administration, said that Mondulkiri has the most seized wood, but future auctions will have wood taken in other provinces.

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