Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal timber headed for Vietnam: villagers

Illegal timber headed for Vietnam: villagers

Men mill around a forest camp that local activists in Ratanakkiri province say is being used as a base for illegal logging.
Men mill around a forest camp that local activists in Ratanakkiri province say is being used as a base for illegal logging. Photo supplied

Illegal timber headed for Vietnam: villagers

Ethnic Jarai villagers in Ratanakkiri province have filed complaints against alleged illegal loggers operating in Andong Meas district, claiming their forest patrols discovered encampments run by migrants who sell timber to Vietnamese smugglers.

Romarm E, 34, a community leader in the district’s Ket village, said a patrol in Nhang commune yesterday discovered about 10 loggers near Krahorm Mountain.

“We went there and saw their camps hidden in the forest,” he claimed. “They sell their timber to Vietnamese people.”

He added that most of the loggers the patrols had encountered were migrant workers from Kampong Cham, Svay Rieng and Kampong Thom provinces.

Afraid of possible retribution, the patrol photographed the camps and handed over the evidence to the provincial coordinator for local rights group Licadho.

Sovann Bunthai, of Licadho, said he had contacted the authorities after receiving the villagers’ complaint.

Phat Sambath, Andong Meas deputy governor, said the authorities had twice launched investigations into the claims since September, but had never found evidence of wrongdoing.

“It’s remote and hard to travel there. We’ve been there, but there’s nothing happening.”

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Cambodian women diving deep, going far

    There is a saying in Khmer that “women cannot dive deep or go far”. The meaning is that women should not stray too far from their traditional gender roles. But when Menno de Block, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands, took a good look around his