Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Forest crimes see a drop in Ratanakkiri

Forest crimes see a drop in Ratanakkiri

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Government officials and civil society organisations in Ratanakkiri province have reported a drop in forest crime. GRK

Forest crimes see a drop in Ratanakkiri

Government officials and civil society organisations in Ratanakkiri province report a significant decrease in the number of forest crimes, noting that perpetrators are no longer using large vehicles to transport the timber.

Ratanakkiri provincial Department of Agriculture director Soy Sona said that, on the surface, forest offences in the province seem to have stopped. In reality, locals are still illegally taking timber out of the forest, but now they are using motorcycles instead of trucks and cars, making their crimes less visible.

“People are using their motorcycles to transport timber. They no longer dare use their cars,” he said, adding that most of the timber that is being transported this way was harvested some months ago. No new cases of illegal logging have been reported recently, Sona said.

Provincial Military Police commander Thav Yen said his officials on Tuesday arrested one person for smuggling timber on a motorcycle in O’Yadav district’s Paknhai commune and seized 20 large logs. The man, part of a group of four, intended to sell the timber in Vietnam. His accomplices escaped.

The crackdown was carried out in conjunction with the provincial court. The seized timber was handed over to the forestry administration office.

“Our officials are on stand-by round-the-clock to act on any order or tip-off. We must take action no matter how difficult the situation is,” he said.

Like Sona, Yen also confirms that forest crimes in the province have recently decreased.

Provincial Department of Environment director Phon Khemerin concurred.

“The only crimes we are seeing now are people moving timber on motorbikes,” he said.

Provincial coordinator for Adhoc Din Khanny said logging continues to be a problem in the province, but that it is now happening at a smaller scale.

“Although the situation is quiet now, the authorities must still take action against those transporting timber on their motorbikes. If we make it impossible for them to smuggle timber, they will have to find other ways of earning money, and the forest will be safe,” he said.

Last year, two tycoons were indicted for running large-scale logging operations in Kratie and Mondulkiri provinces.

In July, Soeng Sam Ol and three accomplices were placed in pre-trial detention after being charged with illegal logging in Mondulkiri. A month later, Kong Kroeng and his son-in-law were charged with plundering forests in Kratie’s Snuol district, along the Vietnamese border.

Also in August, authorities seized nine trucks loaded with timber in Kratie’s Snuol district as they attempted to cross the border to reach Vietnam.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the