Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGO calls for arrest of officer with dodgy past

NGO calls for arrest of officer with dodgy past

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities inspect some of the timber seized from the warehouse of a military official was raided in Kampong Speu last week. Photo supplied.

NGO calls for arrest of officer with dodgy past

A conservation NGO yesterday sent a letter to the prime minister calling for the immediate arrest of a Kampong Speu military official alleged to have been involved in the illegal timber trade for at least two years.

“Arrest Choeung Theng for committing forestry crimes, storing and hauling timber illegally to sell in Vietnam,” reads the letter from Chea Hean, director of the Natural Resources and Wildlife Preservation Organisation.

Military Region 3 officer Choeung Theng has been missing since a warehouse filled with timber allegedly belonging to him was raided last week, but his name has cropped up in connection with the timber trade since the middle of 2015.

Recently, in June, a truck allegedly belonging to Theng caused a Kampot bridge to collapse under the weight of the timber it was carrying. When local authorities attempted to arrest the driver and seize the truck, six armed men – Theng allegedly among them – arrived on the scene, provoking a tense situation during which shots were fired.

Theng subsequently spent approximately one month in Kampot provincial prison, according to provincial court spokesman Khan Sophal. He could not remember how much money Theng put up in bail to secure his release, but added that the case against him is ongoing.

Military Region 3 chief of staff Kong Bunthorn said yesterday that he will call a meeting to discuss Theng’s case, but declined to comment further.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,