Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Suspects wanted for logging thousands of trees in Mondulkiri

Suspects wanted for logging thousands of trees in Mondulkiri

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The trees were buried to hide the evidence from authorities while other trees were burned. Photo supplied

Suspects wanted for logging thousands of trees in Mondulkiri

Mondulkiri provincial authorities are working to identify suspects who cut down tens of thousands of trees and buried them in a 60ha patch of forestland in order to take over the land.

The search came after a joint force confiscated three machines in Pu Leh village, in O’Raing district’s Dak Dam commune.

Provincial Forestry Administration director Um Van Sopheak told The Post police have been looking into the case since last Thursday.

He said local community people had reported to the police about the case. When the operation began, suspects fled into the forest, leaving behind an excavator, a tractor, and two motorbikes seized as evidence.

“We are measuring the trees, counting them, and measuring the land that suspects had cleared. I cannot say clearly how many trees were buried and the size of the land that was cleared. I will wait for official information,” he said.

Dam Dak commune police chief Phong Hiek said on Sunday he participated in the operation, but could not estimate how many trees had been cut down. He said the suspects cut down the trees and buried them in order to hide the evidence from authorities.

He said some of the trees were buried, and some were about to be buried.

“The trees are not luxury timber. They are just trees that were cut and burned. They did not attempt to bring the trees out, but they cleared the forest in order to occupy the land,” Hiek said.

Provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc Eang Mengly said the case needs to be investigated and the suspects arrested. He said there could be collusion given the size of the land that was cleared, but local authorities did not take action on time.

“The situation was only handled when officials from the national level went to the field directly. Only then did we see local authorities take action,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports