Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Six charged over forest camps




Six charged over forest camps

Six villagers were provisionally charged on Wednesday for attempting to log in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, the site of a REDD+ carbon credit project. Photo supplied
Six villagers were provisionally charged on Wednesday for attempting to log in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, the site of a REDD+ carbon credit project. Photo supplied

Six charged over forest camps

Mondulkiri Provincial Court prosecutors have charged six villagers for creating 10 camps within the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, the same site where Walt Disney Company purchased $2.6 million in carbon credits in 2016.

The six villagers, from nearby provinces, were found in the forest by patrolling rangers and villagers on Saturday and produced before the court on Wednesday, where the prosecutor provisionally charged them with measuring protected land with the intention to clear it, said Kong Puthira, REDD+ project officer at Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Disney carbon credits initiative is linked to the wildlife sanctuary’s REDD+ project, a United Nations-backed program to combat deforestation by giving local communities funds towards sustainable development projects.

Puthira said the group of six claimed that they had been instructed to clear the land by local NGO Director Pang Chhoun, who used his organisation as a front to initiate the illegal logging operation.

“The six people confessed that they followed the order of the disability NGO director to clear the forest that has been sold to this company [Disney],” Puthira said.

Puthira said that the initial incident report suggested that around 800 villagers were expected to participate in the logging, but Chhoun during questioning said that only 100 people were involved. Chhoun could not be reached on Wednesday.

Mondulkiri court spokesman Meas Pros said he was unaware of the arrests because he was out of the province and Keo Seima District Governor Nuon Sakon did not respond to requests for comment.

Din Bunthoeurn, director of the wildlife sanctuary, said the camps had been burned down and that the six villagers had been released on bail by the investigating judge, adding that he would ask the court to investigate others involved in the case, including the NGO director.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that