Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Falling tree kills logger in Kratie forest

Falling tree kills logger in Kratie forest

Environmental officers inspect and seize illegal timber last week in Kratie province. Photo supplied
Environmental officers inspect and seize illegal timber last week in Kratie province. Photo supplied

Falling tree kills logger in Kratie forest

An illegal logger was killed when a first-grade tree fell on him in a Kratie community forest whose chief has allegedly gone into hiding following accusations of being involved in forestry crimes.

Two men, including the deceased, Meng Chhun Heng, 34, were felling a sokrom tree in Prasat Prey Toek Khmao community forest, in Kampong Cham commune, according to local village chief Im Pov.

“The two of them covertly logged a sokrom tree, [measuring] 40 centimetres in diametre and 16 metres long,” he said. “While they were logging, their chainsaw’s blade got stuck, and the tree . . . broke, falling on the victim.”

Prey Lang activist Ek Sovannara said the victim used to be involved in protecting the forest from illegal logging but started logging for money.

Two weeks ago, Prey Lang activists had discovered about 300 logs of first-grade timber in the community forest, where days later another 86 pieces of wood were found, Sovannara said.

Sovannara alleged community forest chief Teav Oun and some other community members were involved in forestry crimes. Oun couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kampong Cham commune chief Chhut Norm said he suggested that Oun be suspended from his position after receiving a complaint from Pov. However, Oun allegedly escaped when he failed to meet with authorities two weeks ago regarding the accusations.

The 5,665-hectare community forest, which borders Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, is registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Sovannara said.

Winrock International has been providing technical and financial support to patrollers in the community. Curtis Hundley of Winrock said the organisation couldn’t comment on the allegations.

“Winrock is not in a position of authority to investigate who is behind these illegal activities,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old