Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Timber trader charged in Phnom Penh

Timber trader charged in Phnom Penh

Luxury wood that was found in Stung Treng province during an investigation into arrested timber trader Heng Samnieng last week. Forestry Administration
Luxury wood that was found in Stung Treng province during an investigation into arrested timber trader Heng Samnieng last week. Forestry Administration

Timber trader charged in Phnom Penh

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged accused timber trader Heng Samnieng yesterday in connection with multiple luxury timber-trafficking offences committed over the past three months.

Sous Vechearandy, deputy administrator at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said Samnieng was charged with illegally gathering luxury timber and obstructing public authorities with aggravating circumstances.

Samnieng, also known by the alias Grandma Proeung, was arrested on Thursday by Stung Treng provincial authorities before being transferred to Phnom Penh the following day.

Police raided Samnieng’s warehouse in August, confiscating more than 1,000 logs of luxury timber, though Samnieng managed to escape. This past Thursday, she was apprehended while trying to steal back her confiscated timber with the help of seven employees.

“The court issued an order to detain her for illegally gathering forest products and attempting to obstruct public officials by stealing,” Vechearandy said.

Sun Yoeurth, spokesman for the Stung Treng Provincial Court, confirmed that the case had been sent to Phnom Penh on Friday per a request from the Ministry of Justice, although she did not know why the case was transferred.

Chin Malin, spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, said he also did not know why Samnieng was transferred, but maintained it was within the bounds of normal procedure.

“In principle, there is no problem with transferring the case from one court to another, even though the crime occurred in Stung Treng.”

He also speculated that the transfer could be a result of a “conflict of interest with court officers”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved