Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sand stats ‘correct’: government

Sand stats ‘correct’: government

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Two Mother Nature activists travel past moored sand dredgers as they inspect the condition of the Tatai River last year in Koh Kong province. Athena Zelandonii

Sand stats ‘correct’: government

At a government-organised forum on sand exports yesterday, a Ministry of Mines and Energy official said an investigation had been carried out into huge discrepancies in data on sand export from Cambodia to Singapore but that the probe found no irregularities.

UN data show Cambodia’s customs reported 2.8 million tonnes of sand exports to Singapore from 2007 to 2015, while Singapore recorded 72.2 million tonnes in imports during the same period. A ministry official yesterday said they had recorded about 16 million tonnes of exports to Singapore for the same period – still a discrepancy of some 56 million tonnes.

However, Dith Tina, spokesman and secretary of state for the ministry, said on the sidelines of the forum that the investigation found the ministry’s figures to be “correct”.

When asked what the investigation had looked into, Tina referred questions to fellow secretary of state and spokesman Meng Saktheara, who he said, had carried out the review. Saktheara, meanwhile, said his investigation, which was launched early last month, found no irregularities, but acknowledged it did find “loopholes”.

“The figures released by the Ministry of Mines and Energy are correct figures of sand export volume permitted by the ministry,” he said. “If there is evidence pointing to a licence holder committing illegal exports or contradicting the export permit terms, the ministry will take legal action.”

Among the areas examined were compliance by licensed sand dredgers, performance by the provincial mines department in Koh Kong in monitoring dredging operations, and procedural requirements for granting export invoices.

The findings showed a need for improvement of export procedures, Saktheara added.

For example, in order to properly grant an export invoice, a shipment inspection is required, he said. But given the limited capacity of the provincial department, it often relied on certification and clearance from port authorities. “This has to be improved,” he said. “If they are required to inspect the shipment, they will have to inspect the shipment, instead of relying on other entities.”

As part of a new process now in the works, Saktheara said companies will be required to inform the ministry a week in advance of loading a shipment so that an inspection team can be deployed. They will also be required to have a pre-export and post-export declaration to ensure that the quantities of materials leaving Cambodia and entering Singapore, for example, are indeed the same.

According to a spokesperson from Singapore’s Ministry of National Development, the city-state “will investigate any such instances and take enforcement action, if evidence is provided” of wrongdoing.

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

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 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’

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • 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