Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pursat authorites raid sawmill

Pursat authorites raid sawmill

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A sawmill operating without a licence is raided by Pursat provincial authorities on Wednesday. GRK

Pursat authorites raid sawmill

Pursat provincial authorities on Wednesday raided a sawmill operating without a licence and confiscated 21 logs totalling 13 cubic metres at Kset Borei village in Phnom Kravanh district’s Santre commune, while the owner escaped.

Provincial environment department director Pan Morakat told The Post on Thursday that the almost 20-member task force also seized two sawing machines, four sawing wheel machines, two motors, five saw blades and 20m of cable.

Morakat said his force also planned to raid three other unauthorised sawmills in the Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary near the border of Kampong Speu province. He said the latest raid was just the beginning of a major crackdown on forestry crime in the area.

“We clamped down on this sawmill, and we plan to raid three other locations near the border with Kampong Speu in the Oral Mountains. I’ve requested more task force members because it’s a very dangerous area. Offenders there are normally equipped with firearms. If we have too few people, the raid cannot be carried out,” he said.

Pursat provincial deputy Military Police commander So Sovanndy told The Post that he had not received any update on the matter as he had been occupied with other important work.

In a separate case in Mondulkiri province’s O’Raing district, a group of forest activists found more than 20 planks of luxury timber while patrolling a forest in the Peam O’Entry area, on the border of Dak Dam and Bou Sra communes on Wednesday, Dak Dam community chief Boret Kompi said.

Kompi said his community had sent a report on the discovery of the more than 10 cubic metre haul to local authorities, who he said had not taken any action.

“The timber was hidden in separate locations. We gathered the wood in one place and reported it to local authorities, but they didn’t seem to care and didn’t even come to collect the timber as evidence,” he said.

Dak Dam commune chief Chas Na said he had received the villagers’ report but had yet to pass it on to higher authorities.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

“The villagers told me while I was busy with meetings at district level, so I haven’t had a chance to report to higher-ups yet,” he said.

Mondulkiri provincial environment department director Keo Sopheak said he was not aware of the case.

“I haven’t received a report yet, but I will call to ask for more information from authorities in that area,” he said.

Kroeung Tola, a forest activist in the province, told The Post on Thursday that forestry crime had not declined. He said timber trafficking in the area had been very active and that authorities took no action even after receiving reports of such crimes.

“I used to report to authorities about illicit activities and timber smuggling to Vietnam, but they didn’t seem to care. Villagers don’t want the wood to go to waste because it can take hundreds of years for a tree to grow. Timber traders smuggle wood by truck every day. I feel so sad about it,” he said.


  • 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

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • 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