Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Yellow vine op flouts law: student activists



Yellow vine op flouts law: student activists

Equipment used in the production of yellow vine sits on a plot of land in Koh Kong province earlier this year. Photo supplied
Equipment used in the production of yellow vine sits on a plot of land in Koh Kong province earlier this year. Photo supplied

Yellow vine op flouts law: student activists

Student activists yesterday claimed to have unearthed a processing plant for yellow vine, the harvest of which is widely acknowledged to be environmentally damaging.

The plant is reportedly located in Koh Kong’s Thma Bang district and, according to district chief Tou Savuth, is owned by a Chinese company.

“It’s a Chinese company that collects forest products, including yellow vine among others, in order to produce traditional medicine,” Savuth said.

Law student Vong Panha said he was among a group that recently snuck inside the compound disguised as plant employees.

“There were about 40 workers who were building the factory; it was 70 percent complete. We heard from villagers that they were buying up vines for 200 to 300 riel,” Panha said.

He went on to accuse the company of preparing to manufacture ecstasy. However, experts are in agreement that while certain chemicals extracted from yellow vine are similar in composition to MDMA precursors, it is not possible to produce the drug with them.

But while the company would appear to be in the clear when it comes to narcotics legislation, it risks running afoul of the Law on Forestry.

The law prohibits the establishment of yellow vine processing facilities “that may cause significant pollution or destruction to the forest ecosystem”, with offenders punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese