Stung Treng provincial authorities on Friday shut down an illegal sand dredging operation on the Sesan River and confiscated equipment after having warned the company to cease operations since December, officials said yesterday.
Kim Hong San, provincial court spokesman, said officials from the provincial Department of Environment, Department of Mines and Energy and the court cracked down on the business in Sesan district, though the owner could not be found at the site. A pumping machine and hoses were seized.
“We asked the villagers living in the area, and they said the sand extraction [had] operated [for] over one year without a licence or any permit documents,” he said. Villagers had complained to authorities about the negative environmental effects and the noise from the operation, he added.
Court spokesman Hong San said multiple people were involved, but that he did not to remember their names.
Nou Sovannara, director of the provincial Department of Mines and Energy, identified one of the suspects involved as Nil Channov. Sovannara said he used to have a licence, and had been instructed to apply to have it renewed, which never happened.
“We inspected the operation and made a letter, [with him] promising [that he would] stop the operation, but they are stubborn,” he said, adding the business had been placed on the “black list” and cannot apply for a licence for up to three years.