The government’s Auction Committee has announced a public auction of more than 1,500 cubic metres of illegally logged timber at a starting price of some 1.4 billion riel (approximately $353,000).
This is based on a June 6 announcement by the Ministry of Environment’s General Department of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection, which was obtained by The Post.
Auction Committee chairman Meas Sophal said in the notice that 1,538.261 cubic metres of timber and 239 pepper poles would be put up for public auction on July 11.
The wood was confiscated from the Mondulkiri Protected Forest and is currently being held at the wildlife sanctuary’s headquarters.
“All individuals and legal entities, except those who have a history of forest crime and those who are in debt to the state, can participate in the bidding process by completing the form and meeting the terms and conditions contained in the auction book."
“The Anti-Corruption Unit and other authorities will observe all stages of the bidding process for the timber,” Sophal said in the announcement.
According to the notice, the starting price for the timber up for auction is 1,436,503,200 riel.
Bidding application forms became available from June 7 and can be submitted until July 5 to the Ministry of Environment’s General Department of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection.
However, an Auction Committee member told The Post on Thursday that to date no one had applied for a bidding form.
Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak told The Post that the timber comprises a variety of species which were seized by forest rangers three years ago.
He said some of the timber has begun to decay.
“Part of proceeds of the auction will go to environmental rangers to strengthen their patrols, prevent forest offences and protect wild animals in the protected area."
“Another part of the proceeds will go into to the state’s coffers or will be used for spending under the management of the Ministry of Environment,” Sopheak said.