Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official gets called out in sanctuary logging case

Official gets called out in sanctuary logging case

Official gets called out in sanctuary logging case

Two men have been arrested over, and a military official implicated in, illegal logging that took place at the protected Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary last week.

Nak Hoeum, 35, and Mom Dy, 44, were arrested on Friday during a two-day crackdown on illegal clearing in the wildlife sanctuary, Veal Veng district military police commander Puth Bunchhoeun said.

“Both suspects were arrested while they were logging and clearing the forest in the protected area,” he confirmed.

But the pair, from Battambang province, told environment officials they were unaware the forest was protected and they were hired by Pech Thaipeng, a military official stationed at Stung Kach near the sanctuary, to clear the land.

The suspects said Thaipeng told them the land was his private farmland. Thaipeng yesterday acknowledged in an interview that he hired the men to clear the forest for 100,000 riel, but said the 30-square-metre plot belonged to his deputy commander.

Em Phuong Vibol, deputy director of the sanctuary, said that a complaint naming the suspects and the military official was being filed at the Pursat Provincial Court.

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,