Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials colluding with timber traders, says NGO director

Officials colluding with timber traders, says NGO director

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organisation found 59 logs on Sunday near farmland belonging to officials in Tasal commune, in Kampong Speu province’s Oral district. Photo supplied

Officials colluding with timber traders, says NGO director

A forest activist found 59 logs on Sunday near farmland belonging to officicials in Tasal commune, in Kampong Speu province’s Oral district.

Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organisation director Chea Hean said the logs were hidden in a private property in Choam village, just 100m from the farmland of several senior environmental officials.

He identified the officials as Chhun Cheaheng, former director of the Oral Wildlife Sanctuary, his successor Khorn Sohkun and two other unidentified rangers.

Hean said he suspected the logs were hauled from the central Cardamom mountains – a protected area in Oral district.

He said he had reported the matter to Oral district Military Police after discovering the 59 logs, which had since been seized by Forestry Administration officials.

“If there’s no collusion with the officials, I don’t think they could hide the timber there,” he said.

Asked to comment on the matter, National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy referred reporters to the Forestry Administration.

Oral district Forestry Administration chief Taing Chansema told The Post on Monday that the logs were being detained at the Sangke Satoap Commune Forestry Administration.

He said no arrest was made as the timber was found in the forest.

“The logs were hidden in the forest, not in the village as claimed,” he said.

Sohkun, the Oral Wildlife Sanctuary chief, declined to comment on Monday. The Post could not reach Sohkun’s predecessor or the two environmental rangers for comment.

Hean said he discovered the logs while patrolling a forest in Choam village, which he claimed had been cleared by Sokhon and his predecessor Cheaheng for private ownership.

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors