Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Joint forces confiscate illegally logged timber

Joint forces confiscate illegally logged timber

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Pursat provincial Military Police and officers from the environmental department seize a total of 150 Reach Kol timber logs on Saturday. GRK

Joint forces confiscate illegally logged timber

The Pursat provincial Military Police, in cooperation with provincial environmental officers, on Saturday confiscated a total of 150 Reach Kol timber logs, which had been hidden near the Cardamom Mountains in Rovieng village in Phnom Kravanh district’s Samrong commune.

Provincial military police deputy commander So Sovanndy, who led a team during the raid, told The Post on Sunday the logs were being stored by Conservation International, and military police were seeking the owner to send to the provincial court.

He said the crackdown was made after provincial military police were informed of the location where the timber was hidden – an area under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment.

Sovanndy said the logs varied in length from 5m to 6m. The timber, he said, had been cut into planks and other shapes.

“The timber was logged and put onto a pile. The offenders were not arrested – they escaped. The timber logs are being kept by Conservation International, while military police are looking for the offenders in order to send them to the provincial court,” he said.

A civil society officer told The Post on Sunday that provincial authorities are usually only able to confiscate timber, with offenders rarely arrested. Some villagers said the raid was only carried out for show.

Pen Bunna, the senior land and natural resources investigator for rights group Adhoc, said that the Cardamom Mountains area is rife with illegal logging and forestry crimes.

“According to our activists, there were many logs that were transported on trucks. In addition, one of Adhoc’s directors went to inspect the area near the Cardamom Mountains but was prevented from gaining access to the location."

“Adhoc’s head said that there were many illegal logging activities in the area. What the Military Police confiscated was only a small portion of the wood that was logged, which was about 60 times the amount of timber that was seized,” said Bunna.

He said it is not only the Pursat Military Police who rarely found or detained illegal loggers. This, he said, has become the norm in other provinces as well.

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • US, Cambodia pledge to strengthen military ties

    The US on Tuesday pledged to help train military officers, particularly Cambodia’s blue helmet troops deployed for UN’s peacekeeping operations. The pledge was made during a meeting between US ambassador Patrick Murphy and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen. Further

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Sokha lodges an appeal over treason case reaching court

    Kem Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has appealed against the decision to send his treason case to trial. Sokha’s legal team said their client was not satisfied with the decision of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • King rescinds oknha honorific of 46 National Police officials

    The oknha titles of 46 National Police officials with the rank of general, as well as senior officials in the ministries of Interior and National Defence, will be withdrawn following a royal decree from King Norodom Sihamoni. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post