A reporter for Apsara Television yesterday said he would file a complaint with Mondulkiri Provincial Court today alleging that illegal timber traders, a police officer among them, forced him to delete photographic evidence of their activities.
Journalist Doem Soeun said he received a tip-off on Saturday about large numbers of vehicles hauling timber to the home of Keo Seima district police officer Suos Rora at Sre Khtum commune’s Snerng village.
He said he contacted a provincial deputy prosecutor and the Forestry Administration’s district chief, who he said asked him to document the activity.
Soeun said that while doing as instructed, he was accosted by seven or eight Vietnamese labourers, who then grabbed his phone and deleted his photos.
District Forestry Administration chief Choy Sokheang said that following Soeun’s report, authorities raided Rora’s home and discovered 110 pieces of luxury timber, which was yet to be classified.
“If he does not want to solve the problem by paying a fine, we will ask the court for an arrest warrant,” Sokheang said.
Police officer Suos Rora could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Mondulkiri Provincial Court deputy prosecutor Chea Sovanthet, who is responsible for anti-logging activities in the province, declined to comment on the case.