Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Six illegal logging tractors seized

Six illegal logging tractors seized

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An officer measures timber seized in Siem Reap province’s Svay Leu district on Wednesday. Siem Reap Administration

Six illegal logging tractors seized

Svay Leu district forestry administration office in Siem Reap province has given a month’s notice to the owners of homemade tractors impounded last week for transporting illegal timber. Authorities warned that if no action was taken the administration would take the case to court.

Provincial department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries director Tea Kim Soth told The Post on March 17 that administration officials last week seized six homemade tractors in Chan Hear village, Svay Leu district’s Boeung Mealea commune, transporting logs. Owners didn’t have permission from the administration.

According to the administration’s report, these logs have a diameter of 0.25m to 0.3m, and lengths from 4m to 6m. There are 36 first-, second- and third-grade trees about 9.04m in length. All the evidence has been kept at the administration’s office to file a case in accordance with the forest law.

“Once arrested, the tractors’ owner must pay a fine in order to take possession of the tractors. However, the logs are not allowed to be returned. They are confiscated as state property,” Soth said.

According to Soth, if the owners fail to pay the fine, the administration will send the case to court. But so far, the owners have not yet paid the fines. According to the law, they have one month to pay.

“If they cannot immediately find the money to pay the fine, it is multiplied by three. They bought each tractor for about 300,000 [$75] to 400,000 riel, but we could ask them to pay a fine of about three million riel for each,” Soth said.

Soth stated that nobody was detained and they would not imprison anybody as only a fine is required. If they paid the fine, they could take the tractors. Otherwise, the court would confiscate both tractors and logs as state property.

In a separate case, Battambang provincial department of environment director Kort Boran said that rangers at the “ the Samlaut Multi-use Area” in Battambang province on February 14 arrested two suspects and retrieved some evidence, including one green-coloured vehicle with military police plates, and four pieces of Sokrom wood. They were caught transporting the wood from a restricted area in Samlaut district.

Boran stated that the two suspects were a 58-year-old man living in Samlaut district and the other a 22-year-old from the province. They are military officers in the 4th division in Battambang province.

However, Boran confirmed that park rangers did not send the suspects to the provincial court, only a fine and education on February 16, as it was not a serious offense.

“We are punishing them according to the law. But I do not know exactly how much money – maybe about five million to 10 million riel, depending on the severity and impact on natural resources,” he said.

According to Boran, when there is a fine (transitional), it requires only the offender’s evidence such as wood to be confiscated. The car and offender are released. But for serious offenses such as transporting rosewood, the wood and vehicle would be confiscated and the individual sent to court.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the