An ethnic Phnong community in Mondulkiri’s O’Raing district yesterday filed a complaint with the Forestry Administration against two alleged resin tree loggers after performing a citizen’s arrest.
The duo, a man named Ouch and a woman named Navy, were allegedly running an illegal logging operation using a homemade tractor, cutting down resin trees to make posts used for growing pepper.
The villagers claimed that they found the tractor loaded with 120 of the posts during a routine patrol of their 2,000-hectare community forest in Dak Dam commune.
“[The pair] were arrested [by the community] and reported to the authority and [rights group] Adhoc for intervention,” said Pjan Tren, a community member. “The suspects wanted to negotiate but we did not agree.”
The community members eventually let them go but held onto the evidence, which they sent to the authorities.
“Forestry crime in Mondulkiri continues happening because of the lack of experts and the authorities’ neglect,” said Sok Rotha, an Adhoc coordinator. Adhoc has received four forestry crime complaints from this community in 2016, he said.