Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Stung Treng authorities reject RFA timber trafficking claim

Stung Treng authorities reject RFA timber trafficking claim

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A Radio Free Asia report claimed on March 27 there was a resurgence of illegal timber trafficking activities near the Lower Sesan II Dam. Photo supplied

Stung Treng authorities reject RFA timber trafficking claim

The Stung Treng provincial department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries rejected a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report which claimed that on March 27, there was a resurgence of illegal timber trafficking activities near the Lower Sesan II Dam.

In a written statement seen by The Post on Monday, the department said: “There was no timber trafficking activity on March 27 at the base of Lower Sesan II Dam, and there had not been any since the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries ordered the closure of sawmills owned by Ang & Associates Lawyer Co Ltd, which are located in Stung Treng province’s Phluk commune in Sesan district and Kratie province’s Kbal Damrei commune.”

Since 2013, there have been repeated accusations that the company is logging outside its permitted area near the Lower Sesan II Dam.

In February last year, the government decided to halt timber hauling in the reservoir basin and the clearing of the land concession until the national election had been completed.

In response to RFA’s report, the provincial department regarded it as “fake news and completely false”.

Separately, a joint task force in Ratanakkiri province recently discovered an array of illegally logged luxury timber bound for Vietnam. The timber was found hidden in storage during a crackdown in O’Yadav district’s Paknhai commune.

Hong Van Dean, the head of the Bakeo forestry administration, told The Post late on Sunday that his team had joined forces with the provincial and Military Police to launch the crackdown.

This, he said, was after obtaining a report claiming a large amount of timber was being shipped out of the jungle in Andong Meas district and kept at a hidden location before being exported to Vietnam.

Van Dean said the force found 114 pieces of high-grade woods known as Sokkrom and Sralav.

“The owner of the hideout is Pouy Kiev, from the Jarai ethnic community. As of now, my team is taking legal measures against him and collecting evidence,” he said.

A police officer who wished not to be identified confirmed that Kiev and his team had illegally cut down hundreds of trees in the forest in Andong Meas district and intended to sell the logs in Vietnam.

He said the perpetrators had initially planned to export the woods on April 10.

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • US, Cambodia pledge to strengthen military ties

    The US on Tuesday pledged to help train military officers, particularly Cambodia’s blue helmet troops deployed for UN’s peacekeeping operations. The pledge was made during a meeting between US ambassador Patrick Murphy and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen. Further

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Sokha lodges an appeal over treason case reaching court

    Kem Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has appealed against the decision to send his treason case to trial. Sokha’s legal team said their client was not satisfied with the decision of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the