Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnamese land-grabbers held

Vietnamese land-grabbers held

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Vietnamese nationals are detained after allegedly illegally crossing the border into Cambodia and clearing forest land in Virak Chey National Park in Ratanakkiri province. Photo supplied

Vietnamese land-grabbers held

Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land.

The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province.

Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told The Post on Sunday that last Tuesday his team carried out a raid to prevent illegal forestry crime in Virak Chey National Park.

He said police arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals and confiscated evidence, including six items of machinery, after they had illegally cleared forest land in the O’Tayak area of Taveng district’s Taveng Loeu commune.

Yen said that after their arrest they were sent to immigration police to follow legal procedures. The immigration police then prepared its case and sent them to provincial court.

“The 12 Vietnamese nationals crossed over the Cambodian border with the help of Sek Virak, a representative of a company, and a Vietnamese man named Vo Ngu Yevsa,” he said.

According to a Taveng district Military Police report, the Vietnamese nationals crossed illegally into Cambodia through the forest near Border Post Number 14 located in the area of Border Protection Office Number 505, which is adjacent to Vietnamese Border Post Number 711 in Vietnam’s Kon Tum province.

Ratanakkiri provincial court prosecutor Chea Pich told The Post on Sunday that the case had already reached the court and the investigating judge had looked into it.

After completing questioning of the suspects on Sunday morning, Investigating Judge Leng Vannarith charged the 12 Vietnamese nationals with “crossing the border without legal permission” according to Article 29 of the Immigration Law and “importing machinery for illegal forest clearing and taking forest land as personal property” according to Articles 56, 58 and 62 of the Law on Natural Protected Areas.

He ordered police to detain them temporarily at provincial prison to await a court hearing and other legal procedures.

Phnom Svay prison chief Ouk Kemchun told The Post the 12 suspects arrived at the prison at 10:30am on Sunday morning.

“We received and detained the 12 Vietnamese suspects on Sunday morning, as ordered by Investigating Judge Leng Vannarith,” he said.

Separately on Friday, Mondulkiri provincial authorities – in cooperation with the Forestry Administration and the Koh Nhek district police Environment Department – detained three luxury timber traders.

The three men – two Vietnamese and one Cambodian – were arrested while allegedly attempting to purchase timber illegally in Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary.

The three suspects are under interrogation at Mondulkiri police headquarters. More than 600 logs were confiscated and are under the supervision of the provincial Environmental Department.

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 foreigners in Cambodia, the bulk being from the UK, have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly them out of the Kingdom. The petition is targeted at 15,000 foreigners. Among them are nearly 200 Europeans, the majority

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation