Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Huge timber busts in north



Huge timber busts in north

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities in Ratanakkiri province seize over 50 pieces of luxury wook in Pak Nhai commune. National Military police

Huge timber busts in north

The Mondulkiri provincial authority on Wednesday refuted claims that it had turned a blind eye to illegal timber trafficking to neighbouring Vietnam.

The denial followed the discovery of over 500 pieces of first-grade timber by the National Military Police in protected areas and local media reports that provincial governor Svay Sam Eang had allowed three tycoons to transport timber from the protected Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary to Vietnam through the Dak Dam checkpoint.

“The provincial hall has never allowed such illegal timber trafficking to happen,” said a letter issued by the provincial hall.

Provincial environment department director Keo Sopheak said the National Military Police found more than 500 pieces of first-grade timber during a raid at the protected sanctuary in Koe Sima district, although no arrests were made.

“We are working on the case. The timber was seen deep in the forest and we’re probing to find out which company the timber belongs to. We’re also working to identify the offenders,” Sopheak said.

Governor Sam Eang said he was in a meeting and declined to comment.

Kratie provincial military police commander San Bunthan said he led the crackdown on August 13 after a tip-off.

Separately, Ratanakkiri provincial military police and the O’Yadav district governor on Tuesday seized at least 50 pieces of luxury wood in Pak Nhai commune. No arrest was made, according to the National Military Police’s Facebook page.

Goldman Environmental Prize-winning activist Ouch Leng, who has investigated forest crimes in the protected Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kingdom’s eastern provinces, expressed deep concern over the trafficking of rosewood, especially at Phnom Prich, where he claimed a group of tycoons plan to log and clear the forest.

“I can confirm the logging at Phnom Prich and I am aware that around five Okhnas are destroying the over 100,000 hectares of Phnom Prich.

“At least 80 trucks transport timber out of the sanctuary each day. Each truckload has some 100 tonnes of timber,” he said.

Leng said the Mondulkiri provincial hall’s denial is just “a statement to protect those timber traders. “We must dare to reveal the truth in the national interest,” he said.

In February, senior Mondulkiri provincial officials allegedly received bribes amounting to $170,000 from Vietnamese timber traders. Some of the officials including police, military officers and military police were demoted following the scandal.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from