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Minister grilled on timber auction

Minister grilled on timber auction

Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Cheam Channy grilled Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Porn Moniroth in the National Assembly on Wednesday over the fate of more than 60,000 cubic metres of timber auctioned off by the government in October.

“Please, tell me where has the money from selling 60,000 cubic metres of wood gone, so that we all know,” Channy asked. The auctioned wood formed the majority of 70,000 cubic metres seized in the government’s anti-logging crackdown earlier this year, which the government had promised to sell off to raise funds for the Education Ministry.

Moniroth assured Channy that nothing inappropriate had been done with the money, saying “no one has taken it”, wihtout offering details on where it currently was.

Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Economy and Finance were unable to comment on the timber auction’s finalisation. Anti-logging taskforce spokesman Eng Hy said he was unaware of Channy’s remarks, and declined to comment.

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