The Council of Ministers on Friday approved an amendment strengthening the Mineral Resource Management Law and bringing in tougher penalties for those who break it. Details of the penalties to be brought in were yet to be released.
The original Law on Mineral Resource Management was passed in July, 2001.
“The amendment to the law bans the export of mineral resources without permission from the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and all crimes related to mineral resource exploitation will result in court action and punishment,” a press release issued by the Council of Ministers on Friday said.
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan wrote on Facebook that the mineral resource law was regularly abused and tougher penalties were needed to prevent such illegal activities and build public trust.
The Post reported in September 2016 that Transparency International and environmental groups had called on the Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate smuggling in the sand-dredging industry after a huge $750 million discrepancy was discovered between Cambodia’s documented sand exports and what Singapore had imported.