Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Taxis swarm forestry official pursuing van

Taxis swarm forestry official pursuing van

Taxis swarm forestry official pursuing van

A forestry official in Mondulkiri province was surrounded by taxi drivers yesterday as they allegedly prevented him from tailing a suspected illegal timber dealer who was heading towards the Vietnam border.

Shortly after 10am yesterday, Heng Chantra, deputy director of Sen Monorom town’s Forestry Department, was surrounded on National Road 76 while following a van he suspected was loaded with protected luxury timber, police said.

The standoff lasted for about two hours, while the 20 purported taxi drivers argued that Chantra should face extortion charges for allegedly soliciting money from them.

“He was interrogated because of the allegations of those taxi drivers,” Heng Uong, Keo Seima district police chief, said.

However, Bou Bunchheat, O’Raing district police chief, said he had concluded that “the allegation made by those drivers was just a pretext to avoid accusations [of protecting illegal loggers]”, and Chantra was later released without charge.

Police confiscated an AK-47 assault rifle from Chantra, although he produced documents showing he was authorised to carry the weapon as part of his law enforcement duties, Uong said.

Under questioning, Chantra said he received provincial authorisation to continue the pursuit of the van after leaving his area of jurisdiction in Sen Monorom town, Uong added.

He had called ahead to his colleagues in Keo Seima, but was blocked before he could reach the protected forest.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: All 10 Asean countries to receive Rainsy arrest warrants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday that all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states will receive warrants for the arrest of Sam Rainsy. The warrants have already been sent to Laos and Thailand. He was speaking at a joint press conference at

  • Human rights report biased, says Cambodia

    Cambodia has accused the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday of having “undermined the principle of objectivity”. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN said the Office of the

  • CNRP activists arrested for ‘plotting insecurity’

    Three activists for the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have been sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court after they were arrested for their alleged involvement in an overseas-organised plot to mobilise demonstrations and cause insecurity. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said the

  • ‘Support of CNRP return online will lead to arrest’

    Anyone posting messages supporting the return of Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), on social media will be arrested, the Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Monday that authorities