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Villager sues official for confiscating his timber

Villager sues official for confiscating his timber

A villager in Preah Vihear province is suing Boeung Pear wildlife sanctuary chief Vun Thoeun for allegedly ordering three of his officials to seize two cubic metres of timber from him.

A complaint submitted by Khan Sengkim, 45, to the provincial court yesterday alleges that Thoeun’s officials threatened him with guns and confiscated his wood even through the commune chief had authorised its purchase and transportation.

Sengkim is demanding 8 million riel ($2,000) in compensation from Thoeun, who himself has filed a complaint against Sengkim for scuffling with his officials after not informing them he was transporting timber.

One of Thoeun’s officials said yesterday that the sanctuary must be informed of all timber transport in the area.

Lor Chann, provincial co-ordinator for rights group Adhoc, who is offering Sengkim legal assistance, said sanctuary officials often seize poor villagers’ timber but allow large companies to transport timber undisturbed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]

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