Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnamese timber trader ‘Grandma May’ flees after order to arrest her

Vietnamese timber trader ‘Grandma May’ flees after order to arrest her

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Officials seize 2 tonnes of illegal rosewood from the home of “Grandma May” in Oddar Meanchey province in February. Photo supplied

Vietnamese timber trader ‘Grandma May’ flees after order to arrest her

A Vietnamese national reputed to be a prominent illegal timber trader is believed to have fled to her native country after the Oddar Meanchey provincial governor ordered her arrest last week.

Following numerous reports about her purported crimes on local news outlets, Provincial Governor Sar Thavy on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Nguyen Thimay, also known as “Grandma May”, for her alleged involvement in the illegal purchase and transportation of timber.

“The press reported that Vietnamese national May buys and hauls rosewood without any intervention from authorities, so I ordered the arrest of May,” Thavy said yesterday, adding that the suspect is thought to have escaped to Vietnam.

Apart from forestry crimes, last month, May was accused by villagers in Oddar Meanchey province of ordering her workers to set a timber-loaded vehicle on fire in order to destroy evidence.

During a crackdown on Saturday, over 270 kilograms of rosewood were seized in Trapaing Prasat district after the car carrying it was intercepted by authorities, who believe the timber belonged to May, although “there is no evidence to prove it”, said District Governor Nouv Samdararith.

Srey Naren, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, supported the order for the suspect’s arrest, but criticised the decision to make it public “because it makes the traders escape”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10