The National Police website has dropped an article run last week accusing tycoon Kith Meng’s Royal Group of illegal logging in Stung Treng province, claiming the critical piece was uploaded by “error”.
Citing anonymous sources, the piece, uploaded on May 16, accused the company of using its license to log the reservoir area of the Lower Sesan II hydropower dam – which it is building together with a Chinese firm – to launder timber sourced from other areas.
Anti-logging activists and community members have long levelled such allegations at the company, which has contracted a subsidiary, Ang & Associates, to clear the reservoir.
However the appearance of the accusations on the official police website appeared to lend further weight to the claims, particular as it followed the seizure of timber-laden trucks owned by the company apparently preparing to cross into Vietnam in April.
But in a note posted on their website yesterday, the National Police distanced itself from the critical article, which is no longer available to view.
“The post was due to confusion by the [website] technicians and the unintentional error of the one who posted the article,” the correction read.
“National Police expresses its apologies for the error.”