Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police probe land grab at Preah Vihear sanctuary



Police probe land grab at Preah Vihear sanctuary

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A makeshift home built by loggers in the sanctuary. Fresh News

Police probe land grab at Preah Vihear sanctuary

The Preah Vihear provincial Department of Environment and Rovieng district officials are working to identify a group of people who allegedly cleared 200ha at Boeung Pea wildlife sanctuary and bring them to justice.

Prum Sitha, Rovieng district deputy police chief, said on Sunday that officials from the district authorities and provincial Department of Environment jointly investigated the land grab at the wildlife sanctuary on Friday and found land clearance at Romny commune.

“About 200ha was cleared and planted with mango, cashews, durian and coconut. A wooden home was also built and some agriculture-related materials were found on the site,” he said.

He said the suspects may have known about the investigation and managed to escape the scene. However, they had not demolished the home or destroyed the crops.

Provincial Department of Environment director Song Chan Socheat said on Sunday that he ordered rangers to work with police, military police and soldiers to search for the suspects to question them.

“Now our rangers have found some clues and are working to arrest the suspects,” he said.

Attempted land grabs have been frequent this year. In February, the Rovieng Forestry Administration investigated and apprehended eight people for grabbing land.

District governor Hor Bunhuor said on Sunday that logging and grabbing forest and state land for private ownership is illegal. He is also one of the officials who visited the land at the wildlife sanctuary.

“My team and I went to the site and of course the forest was logged. The suspects will be held responsible for the crime. We will find the ringleader behind all this,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year