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

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • First case of coronavirus reported in the Kingdom

    Cambodia reported its first case of the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Monday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng announced. He said medical specialists detected the virus in a Chinese tourist in Sihanoukville. The minister said Jia Jianhua, 60, travelled from Wuhan city, where the outbreak

  • PM urges precaution amid virus outbreak

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday called on all Cambodians to bump up precautions to avoid contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already killed more than 50 people in China. The prime minister told the public to remain calm but alert about the possibility of

  • Gov’t slams NGO over 2019 corruption report

    The government on Thursday slammed a report that described the Kingdom as highly corrupt. Government spokesperson Phay Siphan dismissed the latest Transparency International (TI) report as “just an advertisement of NGOs to promote their own interests”. Released on Thursday, the report puts Cambodia near the

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • App to connect farmers to millions

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has soft-launched a mobile app that connects farmers with potential buyers and gives them access to critical market information. The ministry’s Agriculture Marketing Office chief Meach Yady said the ‘CamAgriMarket’ app gives farmers a platform to showcase