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

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at