Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Timber baron vows to forgo the latest bidding

Timber baron vows to forgo the latest bidding

Logging tycoon Try Pheap speaks to the media at one of his plantations in Preah Vihear province last year.
Logging tycoon Try Pheap speaks to the media at one of his plantations in Preah Vihear province last year. Heng Chivoan

Timber baron vows to forgo the latest bidding

Timber tycoon Try Pheap announced yesterday that his company would sit out the auction of some of the 70,000 cubic metres of wood seized in anti-logging crackdowns this year.

“HE Oknha Try Pheap announces [his intention] not to join the bidding on wood that has been seized from [illegal] traders,” read a post on Pheap’s Facebook page.

Pheap could not be reached for further details yesterday, but was quoted in local media as saying that he wanted to avoid public criticism. He added that many violators falsely claim to be working for his company.

Pheap was issued licences to buy timber from the government in 2013 and 2014.

Staff at Pheap’s company declined to comment, and guards turned away a reporter from the main office.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said in March that he would end timber auctions and give this year’s haul to the Ministry of Education.

But this week, he seemingly went back on that promise, saying that at least some of the 70,000 cubic metres would be put up for auction because the Ministry of Education lacks the means to transport it all, and the timber would otherwise rot.

Bidding committee chief Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin could not be reached yesterday.

Tek Vannara, director of the NGO Forum, called for transparency during the bidding process, saying that previous auctions were opaque and facilitated the illicit export of timber.

Additional reporting by Igor Kossov

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the