Think Biotech (Cambodia) Co Ltd director Lu Chu Chang has dismissed as slanderous, reports by forest and environmental activists that the company is connected to illegal logging.
The reports claimed Think Biotech was involved in the illegal logging of forests in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as areas of community forest in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.
Forest and environmental activists reported last week that Think Biotech and Angkor Plywood Co had, for nearly a month, taken timber from illegal loggers in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary and the Brasat Takhmao community forest.
After some media outlets had reported on the case, Lu said he considered the reports to be slanderous and politically motivated.
“These environmental activists are using funding from foreign countries to stand in the way of Cambodia’s progress.
“Our company only uses forest produce from areas the government has given us the right to manage and use. We have paid taxes as dictated by law,” he said.
Lu spoke of Think Biotech’s three-year tree-planting project, with the company to plant more than 30 million trees for use in the timber-processing sector.
He said it was contracted to buy 10 million tree saplings a year from Angkor Plywood.
“Angkor Plywood has nothing to do with the Think Biotech’s timber-processing business as alleged by some people,” he stressed.
However, a Prey Lang Community Network activist in Stung Treng province, Yim Sopheak, claimed there was evidence linking Think Biotech to forest crimes.
He said the forest in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary and some community forest areas near Think Biotech land concessions had in some cases been logged illegally almost every day because the company bought the timber.
“Our working group has proof that Think Biotech has been involved with forest crimes and that the company collects and buys timber from outside its forest concession areas,” Sopheak claimed.