Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Five arrested for alleged logging shakedown

Five arrested for alleged logging shakedown

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Weapons found in the car of the environmental staffers who were accused for extoring from a timber transporter in Kratie province late last week. Photo supplied

Five arrested for alleged logging shakedown

An environmental NGO staffer and four villagers were arrested and charged with extortion in Kratie on Tuesday for allegedly running a shakedown operation on illegal loggers.

Hean Chhivkun, Kratie provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said that NGO worker Sem Kemsear, and four villagers – Reach Brokob, Thai Bun, Chan Thla and Lai Sengleang – were ostensibly working to crack down on illegal timber hauling in the area, but were instead extorting transporters.

According to Chhivkun, Forestry Administration officials on February 7 seized a van loaded with eight logs and 19 planks of wood from Kemsear, who had allegedly seized it himself late last year from transporter Seak Chhai, whom he had threatened with arrest.

The Forestry Administration questioned the suspects at the time, but they weren’t formally detained and charged until yesterday.

“The van and that timber was confiscated by Kemsear and four villagers at the end of 2016. But their crackdown was not authorised by local authorities, and they never reported the confiscation,” Chhivkun said.


  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there