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Illegal logging continues unabated in Cambodia

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Timber found in Rattanakkiri. Supplied

Illegal logging continues unabated in Cambodia

Foresty crimes continue unabated in the Kingdom. This week alone, two crackdowns on illegal logging took place in Ratanakkiri and Oddar Meanchey provinces.

Authorities on Wednesday uncovered and seized dozens of timber from illegally-felled first-grade woods in Ratanakkiri province, following a tip from the locals.

A total of 90 pieces of timber, hidden on a cashew farm in the province’s Veun Sai district, were discovered by a joint force consisting of national, provincial and district military police, as well as the district forestry officials.

Khy Sokha, deputy chief of Ratanakkiri provincial military police, said the authorities had moved the evidence – which was estimated to have a diameter of 40 to 80cm – to Veun Sai commune hall.

“Next, we will find [the perpetrators] and punish them in accordance with the law,” he added.

Separately, the authorities and forest activists in Oddar Meanchey province detained a suspect and seized nine tractors used to transport timber.

Sorng Rukhavorn community forest administration head Bun Saluth told The Post on Thursday that his patrol team, including rangers and border soldiers at Battalion 905, detained one of over 10 people linked to an illegal logging and smuggling activity in the area.

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An illegal logging in Oddar Meanchey. Freshnews

Additionally, he said, nine tractors, each carrying one to three pieces of timber, were confiscated during the operation.

The evidence is now stored at the provincial environment department office, subject to further legal action, Saluth said.

“Forestry crimes in [Sorng Rukhavorn Wildlife Sanctuary] occur very frequently, and the perpetrators are always the same people. They are not afraid [of the consequences]."

“Some have even threatened to murder forest activists,” he said, adding that he didn’t know what the authorities will do to the suspect.

Phuong Lina, the director of the provincial environment department, declined to comment as he was “busy in a meeting”.

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