Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry denies illegal exports

Ministry denies illegal exports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A Ministry of Mines and Energy investigation has found that the Deryoung Sunflower, spotted loading sand in late April off Sihaoukville, was carrying a type of sand exempt from a November export ban. Photo supplied

Ministry denies illegal exports

The Ministry of Mines and Energy released a statement on Friday saying that accusations made in a video released by the NGO Mother Nature of continued illegal sand extraction and export from the coast of Cambodia were baseless, but remained tight-lipped about one of the ships allegedly carrying out the exporting.

The video - shot on April 29 - shows a ship called the Deryoung Sunflower being loaded with what appears to be sand. The ship reached a Taiwanese port last week, with both the ministry and Taiwanese officials saying the ship was carrying silica sand.

The ministry said the Mong Reththy Group had a permit for the export, and according to a December 2016 letter to Cambodia’s shipping regulator, silica sand is exempt from a broad export ban on sand.

However, the contents of a second ship in the video, Ocean Beauty, remained a mystery yesterday, as the ministry has not looked into its whereabouts.

“If you ask what about this ship and that ship, we remind you that the Ministry of Mines and Energy has no authority on the ships [that] come in and out,” said spokesman Dith Tina. “If Mother Nature has any serious case than the one they baselessly accused us with . . . they can come to us and provide useful and relevant information so we can work constructively.”

An “Ocean Beauty” was expected to arrive at a port in China on Friday, but requests to speak with port officials went unanswered. The ministry encouraged groups to come directly to them with suspicions in the future, but Alex Gonzalez-Davidson, founder of Mother Nature, said he had “lost all faith in the people at the ministry”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • MEPs' call for Rainsy's safety not European Parliament position

    The European Parliament said on Friday that a statement by 56 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) calling for guarantees of Sam Rainsy’s freedom and safety should he return to Cambodia did not represent its position. Delphine Colard, the European Parliament’s press officer told

  • Sar Kheng: Rainsy return not blocked

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng clarified that Cambodia had never blocked Sam Rainsy from returning to the Kingdom. However, he said Cambodia reserved the right to take legal action as allowed by law against activities aimed at destroying the Kingdom. “No one blocked the return