Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Endangered rosewood seized from ‘grandma’

Endangered rosewood seized from ‘grandma’

Officials seize 2 tonnes of illegal rosewood on Saturday in Oddar Meanchey province. Photo supplied
Officials seize 2 tonnes of illegal rosewood on Saturday in Oddar Meanchey province. Photo supplied

Endangered rosewood seized from ‘grandma’

More than 2 tonnes of protected rosewood were discovered and seized from a prominent alleged illegal timber trader in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district on Saturday. The home of “Grandma May” was raided by police, military police and forestry officials.

While the joint forces successfully confiscated the wood, the trader and her workers were not apprehended, according to Sor Sopheak, provincial deputy prosecutor.

“When we arrived, we did not see the timber owner or any other person . . . Maybe they knew in advance,” said Sopheak, who led the raid.

Sopheak said authorities only know the trader by the moniker Grandma May and are searching for more clues to her identity.

The rosewood was impounded at the provincial Forestry Administration.

Srey Naren, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said countless sawmills are located in the area, often owned and operated by Vietnamese nationals, but officials rarely ever target high-profile traders. “Legal measures are taken against most small-scale traders, not big sawmills that offer benefits for some officials,” Naren said.

In separate, smaller busts, officials in Preah Vihear and Pursat confiscated 86 and 27 logs of luxury timber, respectively.

Puth Bunchhoeun, Pursat’s Veal Veng district military police commander, said the 27 logs amounted to 13 cubic metres.

“The timber was cut into planks and hidden on reserved state forest land,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a