Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Joint forces shut down 16 illegal sawmills in Stung Treng

Joint forces shut down 16 illegal sawmills in Stung Treng

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities inspected timber processing facilities in Stung Treng province on Tuesday. FN

Joint forces shut down 16 illegal sawmills in Stung Treng

Joint forces in Stung Treng province temporarily shut down 16 timber processing facilities on Tuesday after an inspection revealed they did not have proper permits.

The joint forces comprised of forestry officials, environmental officials, police officers and Military Police officials. It was led by provincial Military Police chief Ieng Vandy, working in cooperation with Stung Treng provincial deputy prosecutor Sin Raksa.

They inspected 23 timber processing facilities and found 16 of them operating illegally. Their owners signed a contract to close down temporarily and the authorities seized some timber to store at the provincial Forestry Administration.

Stung Treng provincial hall spokesman Men Kong told The Post on Wednesday that no arrests were made, as none of the facilities was found to have damaged forest resources.

They were merely shut down for having processed and stored forest products without the proper permits from local authorities, he said, adding that he did not know how much timber was seized.

“We haven’t taken any action against any of the facilities’ owners yet. We will merely follow the instructions of the provincial committee, which in a meeting decided to launch the investigation as a preliminary step.

“If [the committee] orders them to desist and obtain a permit under the law, but they continue to operate without one anyway, then [they] will be held responsible before the law,” said Kong.

Vandy, provincial Forestry Administration official Orn Chansocheat and provincial Department of Environment director Eng Phyrong all declined to provide further information and referred questions to National Committee for Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crime spokesman Eng Hy.

But Hy said he could not comment as he had not received the report on the facilities’ closure.

The inspection comes a day after the Stung Treng provincial administration issued a press release on Monday to express their commitment to enforcing laws – including forestry law – in a strict manner to crack down and prevent all kinds of natural resource crimes.

Meanwhile, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc Hou Sam Ol hailed the crackdown.

“We want these crackdowns to continue regularly, and not just be a one-off thing,” said Sam Ol.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports