Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Flooded forest illegally cleared in Kampong Chhnang

Flooded forest illegally cleared in Kampong Chhnang

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A view of paddy fields in Kampong Chhnang province. Authorities there say they are probing flooded land that was illegally cleared. Photo supplied

Flooded forest illegally cleared in Kampong Chhnang

The Kampong Chhnang provincial department of agriculture, forestry and fishery is working to identify suspects who had mobilised tractors to illegally clear flooded forest in Toek Phos district’s O’krabey Ngob and O’Klong in Chieb communes.

Department director Ngin Hun told The Post on Monday that the tractors were impounded after the suspects fled the scene. “At least 10ha of flooded forest in the areas have been cleared illegally.

“The suspects may have received a tip-off about the raid. They had escaped before we arrived, leaving their vehicles behind. We’re working to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said.

However, villagers allege that the clearing of flooded forest in the area had been made possible by some local authority officials, including a village chief.

Keo Hong, 38, from Chieb commune’s Chieb village, claimed that traders and local authorities colluded to clear dozens of hectares of flooded forests in O’Krabey Ngob and O’Klong communes. They had even lured some villagers to join hands with them.

“It’s not outsiders who convinced villagers to clear the flooded forests, but the Khtum Koh village chief and some Akphivoat commune officials.

“They [village chief and commune officials] warned villagers against telling anyone. They gave $100 to each villager who was willing to clear the flooded forest,” Hong claimed.

He said the money was provided by six unidentified middlemen from Kampong Chhnang province who are also the owners of the tractors.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio