Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Suspected sand exports to Vietnam stopped in Mondulkiri

Suspected sand exports to Vietnam stopped in Mondulkiri

Suspected sand exports to Vietnam stopped in Mondulkiri

The Mondulkiri Provincial Court and mines and energy officials said they are investigating illegal sand exports to Vietnam following the questioning of four people who were intercepted yesterday by authorities driving truckloads of sand toward the eastern border.

Officials will also investigate an official at the Labakhe border checkpoint in Keo Seima district who allegedly let 10 trucks loaded with sand pass into Vietnam earlier this week.

San Darith, director of the provincial Department of Mines and Energy, said the four trucks were heading toward the Labakhe border police checkpoint, but after officials intercepted them, they claimed they were selling the sand to villagers near the border, and went on to unload some of the sand at villagers’ homes, despite there being no visible construction underway. They also claimed they were selling sand to the border checkpoint office, where they also unloaded sand.

“We suspected that the sand [was going to be] hauled to Vietnam,” Darith said. “But we intercepted [them], so they just sold the sand to the villagers nearby.”

Darith said that earlier this week local media had reported that border police official Horn Keaseng allowed more than 10 trucks loaded with sand into Vietnam for the construction of a building. Each truck was allegedly loaded with about 25 cubic metres of sand.

Darith said the intercepted sand was coming from Kratie province. Mines and Energy Ministry spokesman Meng Saktheara said the sand depot in Kratie has a dredging licence.

“The source of the sand is legal, but what’s illegal is the export of sand,” Saktheara said, adding that exporting requires a permit, and that the Ministry of Mines and Energy had not issued any export permits since late last year when it issued a ban on sand exports.

Saktheara said that the depot sells sand to anyone and buyers can send it anywhere. The drivers claimed to be employed by a person who bought sand from the depot. Yet Saktheara also said he doubted their claims that the sand was destined for private villagers living along the border.

“This has to be investigated further,” he said.

Mondulkiri Provincial Court spokesman Morm Vanda said the drivers were allowed to go home because there was not enough evidence to hold them, but that the court would continue to investigate.

Late last month, villagers in Kratie’s Krakor village held a protest to demand that authorities halt sand dredging in the area, and alleged that sand was being exported to Vietnam.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted