Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Oknha accused of logging in protected forest

Oknha accused of logging in protected forest

Community members gather to inspect illegal logging activities in Preah Vihear’s Preah Roka protected forest.
Community members gather to inspect illegal logging activities in Preah Vihear’s Preah Roka protected forest. Photo supplied

Oknha accused of logging in protected forest

The environment minister has promised to investigate allegations that a tycoon-owned company is using a land concession to illegally log wood in a protected area in Preah Vihear province.

At a ministry forum on Wednesday, local residents and a representative of rights NGO Ponlok Khmer asked Environment Minister Say Sam Al to intervene to halt alleged illegal logging in the Preah Roka Wildlife Sanctuary by the Sam Oeun Sovan company, owned by Oknha Dy Duk.

Ray Bunthin, coordinator at Ponlok Khmer, alleged that the company – which has a licence to collect timber in a social land concession in Cheb and Chey Sen districts – was transporting illegally logged wood from surrounding protected areas to the concession to disguise it as “legal” timber. The company was granted permission to haul timber in the more than 4,000 hectare concession in April 2016.

“This forest is being logged daily,” Bunthin said. “Based on our inspection, there is no timber being collected from the social land concession, but the timber is brought from the Preah Roka forest and other protected forests.”

If the allegations proved to be true, Sam Al said, the perpetrators would face the courts. “If you have more information about this case, you can give it to me,” he said.

Sam Al added that he had repeatedly asked the Agriculture Ministry to stop granting licences for concessions. “Some areas were cleared and there is no more forest,” he said.

Duk could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the