Oddar Meanchey Provincial Governor Sar Thavy ordered local authorities to crack down on forest crimes in the province yesterday after several recent reports in local media of timber trading in the area.
Chea Piseth, spokesman for Oddar Meanchey Provincial Hall, said the reports had spurred the governor to order all relevant institutions in the province to work together and search for the traders.
Piseth said the actions of illegal loggers and complicit officials contradicted the wishes of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who spoke out against illegal logging in a speech at the Peace Palace on Tuesday.
Piseth said the governor ordered officials to focus on Trapaing Prasat district, where online news outlet Preapsor News identified three prominent timber traders by their first names in an article yesterday.
According to the outlet, the three traders sell timber to depots in Oddar Meanchey and Banteay Meanchey provinces without interference from officials or armed forces.
“The provincial governor warned he would take administrative actions against the officials or armed forces colluding with those timber traders with zero tolerance,” Piseth said.