Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Men held over forest clearing in Mondulkiri

Men held over forest clearing in Mondulkiri

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Police arrested six men this week for using tractors to clear protected land for personal use. Ministry of Environment

Men held over forest clearing in Mondulkiri

Four men were detained on Tuesday for clearing land in a biodiversity conservation corridor of protected natural areas in Koh Nhek district, in Mondulkiri province.

Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak said on Wednesday that an investigating judge at the provincial court had ordered four men to be held in pre-trial detention for grabbing forest land for personal ownership – an offence under articles 62 and 56 of the Natural Protected Areas Law.

“There were three different cases of clearing forest land for ownership at protected natural areas. We detained a total of six suspects and sent them to court. The court decided to temporarily hold just four people,” he said.

Sopheak said three of the accused were Cambodian nationals Tith Soboeun, 47, from Tbong Khmum province; Rong Sokchea, 22, from Memot district, Tbong Khmum province; and Yat Chhaya, 19, who is currently living in Kok village, Krek commune, Ponhea Krek district, Tbong Khmum province.

The men were arrested by a park ranger while they were operating a bulldozer illegally to plough land in Rovak village, Royor commune, Koh Nhek district, Mondulkiri province. Such activity is illegal in protected areas, biodiversity conservation areas and protected natural areas.

In the prevention operation and crackdown on natural resources, Sopheak said park rangers inspecting the scene measured more than 30ha and found two tractors, which were taken to the office.

A fourth man, Sopheak said, was questioned by the judge at the Mondulkiri Provincial Court on Tuesday and detained in connection with the use of explosives – an offence under articles 61 and 56 of the Law on Protected Natural Areas.

The accused, 25-year-old Ren Lina, currently lives in Sre Sangkum commune, Koh Nhek district, in Mondulkiri province.

Lina was arrested on Sunday in Koh Nhek district, Mondulkiri province, in the Prech Mountain forest sanctuary. He possessed a rifle and a box of ammunition for hunting.

The Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment said park rangers sent two more suspects to court in connection with forest land clearance. The two suspects are Kan Somaly, 57, and Nam Sokha, 38. Both are from Lumphat district in Ratanakkiri province.

The suspects were detained by rangers at Ror Nhor commune, Koh Nhek district, while they were driving a tractor and illegally ploughing the land.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod