Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Flooded forest illegally cleared in Kampong Chhnang

Flooded forest illegally cleared in Kampong Chhnang

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A view of paddy fields in Kampong Chhnang province. Authorities there say they are probing flooded land that was illegally cleared. Photo supplied

Flooded forest illegally cleared in Kampong Chhnang

The Kampong Chhnang provincial department of agriculture, forestry and fishery is working to identify suspects who had mobilised tractors to illegally clear flooded forest in Toek Phos district’s O’krabey Ngob and O’Klong in Chieb communes.

Department director Ngin Hun told The Post on Monday that the tractors were impounded after the suspects fled the scene. “At least 10ha of flooded forest in the areas have been cleared illegally.

“The suspects may have received a tip-off about the raid. They had escaped before we arrived, leaving their vehicles behind. We’re working to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said.

However, villagers allege that the clearing of flooded forest in the area had been made possible by some local authority officials, including a village chief.

Keo Hong, 38, from Chieb commune’s Chieb village, claimed that traders and local authorities colluded to clear dozens of hectares of flooded forests in O’Krabey Ngob and O’Klong communes. They had even lured some villagers to join hands with them.

“It’s not outsiders who convinced villagers to clear the flooded forests, but the Khtum Koh village chief and some Akphivoat commune officials.

“They [village chief and commune officials] warned villagers against telling anyone. They gave $100 to each villager who was willing to clear the flooded forest,” Hong claimed.

He said the money was provided by six unidentified middlemen from Kampong Chhnang province who are also the owners of the tractors.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese ‘prank’ threat video is no joke for Cambodia

    ‘Preah Sihanouk province, in the next three years, whether safe or chaotic, will be under my control,” declared a Chinese man in a white T-shirt, as another 19 men stood behind him shirtless, in a video that went viral on social media last month. After the

  • Woman detained for murder of hairdresser over unpaid $1K debt

    A woman has been held in connection with the murder of a 40-year-old widow. The victim’s daughter claims the motive was the suspect’s unpaid four million riel ($1,000) debt to her mother. The 17-year-old girl, Pich Sievmey, said her mother, Koem Yaneang, a hairdresser

  • ABA reports $71.8M net profit

    ABA Bank, a member of the National Bank of Canada group, recorded a net profit of $71.8 million last year, up 55 per cent from $46.2 million in 2017, its annual report released on Monday stated. A rise in the bank’s loan portfolio and the expansion of stated

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in