Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hefty fines, no jail time for miners



Hefty fines, no jail time for miners

Hefty fines, no jail time for miners

A Kampong Thom court has issued more than $174,000 in fines to eight individuals as part of a verdict in a 2015 case of illegal copper mining and transport filed by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, though all suspects escaped prison time.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy in a Wednesday statement said in 2015 it was discovered that Cao Yun De, director of Meng Xing Hong Fa (Cambodia) Co Ltd, and six other individuals had been mining illegally in Siem Reap’s Chi Kraeng district. From there, Deng Gou Dong, director of Khmer Yunding Resources Development Co Ltd, was transporting the minerals, totalling 42 tonnes, to Phnom Penh, when they were intercepted by military police in Kampong Thom.

The verdict was handed down last month, the ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Meng Saktheara declined to comment on the court proceedings, but confirmed that the ministry issued a licence to Meng Xing Hong Fa in 2012, though it was suspended in 2014 due to noncompliance. “The company was operating the mining during the suspension period,” he said.

Under the law, illegal mining is punishable with a fine of 1 million to 10 million riel per day, as well as between one and five years in prison. Yun De was issued a 1 million riel fine per day from October 28, 2014, to September 5, 2015 more than $77,000 – and no prison time.

Gou Dong and six of his employees were issued a combined $97,707 fine for illegal transport of minerals without paying taxes, but a one-month prison term was suspended.

A court administrator said “the court had followed the procedures and the law” on the verdict, while a Meng Xing Hong Fa rep said the firm would “respect” the decision.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and