Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Monk forest chief files report against soldiers



Monk forest chief files report against soldiers

The Venerable Bun Saluth, head of the Sorng Rukhavorn community forest in Oddar Meanchey. Facebook
The Venerable Bun Saluth, head of the Sorng Rukhavorn community forest in Oddar Meanchey. Facebook

Monk forest chief files report against soldiers

A community forest chief in Oddar Meanchey province is pursuing legal action against a pair of soldiers over an incident last month in which they allegedly beat and threatened forest patrollers who caught them transporting luxury timber.

The Venerable Bun Saluth, head of the Sorng Rukhavorn community forest, filed a complaint to the Forestry Administration on Friday accusing soldiers Moeng Duong and Sam Pisey of forestry crimes and threatening to set a patroller’s family on fire after patrollers stopped a mini-tractor loaded with timber.

“If they have a position they need to be demoted, because the people who committed the crime should not have a title,” Saluth said in an interview yesterday.

“They are not soldiers defending the country or protecting the people. They are thieves.”Reached yesterday, Regiment 424 Commander Sin Pean denied that his soldiers had “attacked” the patrollers.

“It actually was just pushing and not using any weapons,” Pean said.

Pean acknowledged that Duong was at fault for taking the tractor and timber back from the patrollers and fleeing. However, he denied that Duong had been logging timber himself and said he merely purchased the wood from a villager to make furniture.

Pean added that he had already educated and punished Duong “based on the regiment’s rules”, but would not elaborate further.

“We are not careless about this,” Pean said. It is illegal to transport luxury timber without a permit, regardless of its purpose, according to Cambodia’s forestry law.

The law also states that military officials who threaten Forestry Administration officers or commit forestry crimes are subject to one to five years in prison and a fine of 10 million to 100 million riel, or $2,500 to $25,000.

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