Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local journalists lead police to Pursat timber stockpile



Local journalists lead police to Pursat timber stockpile

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Journalists and police in Pursat province found a stockpile of nearly 100 logs and planks of luxury timber inside Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary earlier this week. Supplied

Local journalists lead police to Pursat timber stockpile

Environmental officials in Pursat are questioning rangers over how a group of local journalists discovered nearly 100 logs of luxury timber inside a wildlife sanctuary.

After receiving a tip, the journalists, representing 24 small online media outlets, teamed up with five local policemen on Tuesday and Wednesday, finding four stockpiles of first-grade wood inside Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary in Veal Veng district’s Bramoy commune.

Theang Leng, Veal Veng district police chief, confirmed that five of his police officers joined the investigation, but maintained that they did not know the owner of the wood.

One of the online journalists, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the timber stockpiles were found about a kilometre away from a ranger sub-station in the sanctuary and that he believed environmental rangers were aware of the timber.

“They are controlling the place,” he said. “Why don’t they know?”

The journalist also alleged that environmental officials set checkpoints near the main road to collect money from timber haulers.

“If they did not give a green light, did not accept money, why would one dare to go there to transport timber?” he said.

Pan Morokort, the provincial director of the Environmental Department, said officials are investigating the case and have some clues, including the name of the company and a trader who may be linked, but declined to give more information.

“We are still investigating to know whether or not our officials colluded in the case,” Morokort said. “We are calling them in to question them one by one to gather evidence.”

Morokort added that an economic land concession belonging to oknha Try Pheap and a forest clearing near Stung Pursat I Hydro Dam reservoir are both nearby and that the wood could have come from one of those two places.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants