Thursday, June 19, 2008

Trucks recently provided by the US Army used to haul illegal logs?

Recently donated US Army trucks (Photo: AP)

18 June 2008
By Sophorn
Radio Free Asia

Translated from Khmer by Heng Soy
Click here to read the original article in Khmer

A witness, who is a local journalist, indicated that US Army trucks recently donated to the Cambodian government are being used to transport illegal logs, however, US embassy officials denied that this story is not true.
A local journalist claimed that soldiers from army unit Ngo-70 confiscated his camera while he was taking pictures of police arresting 2 trucks carrying wood logs. The trucks are suspected to be donations by the US.

The local journalist, who asked to remain anonymous for fear for his personal safety, indicated on 15 June, he saw soldiers and police officers stopping 3 trucks, he then started taking pictures of these vehicles when 3 soldiers from the army unit Ngo-70 came to take his camera and confiscated the film in the camera.

He added that about 30 minutes later, following an intervention from their superior, the soldiers then returned the camera back to him

According to an eyewitness, who happens to be a local journalist also, said that at about 2:00 PM on Sunday, at the Snab Ta Oan village, Koki commune, Kien Svay district, Kandal province, along National Road No. 1, a group of police officers stopped 2 trucks loaded with wood logs, during this operation, national military police force was also present.

He added that, later on the military police and soldiers group send 20-cubic-meter of precious wood to be stored at the house of General Mao Sophan, the commander of army unit Ngo-70, located in Spov Kanleng village, Dey Ith commune, Kien Svay district, Kandal province, then the trucks took off.

RFA attempted to obtain clarification from the Kien Svay district police chief since 17 June, but he told RFA to wait until 18 June instead, However, on 18 June, RFA called him and his deputy back many times, but no one picked up their phones.

Heng Thieb, the Kien Svay district governor, indicated that he knew there was a wood inspection that took place, but that this is the duty of the forestry department, and he said for RFA to ask the forestry department instead.

Heng Thieb said: “I only know that they belong to the joint force of the forestry department.”

Sophorn (RFA): So was there any confiscation as reported or not, Mr. Deputy-governor?

Heng Thieb: There was a wood inspection. The department of forestry is working on it.

On Wednesday, RFA tried to call Y Sophy, the director of the Kien Svay forestry department, for clarification, but no one picked up the phone.

Jeff Daigle, the public relation officer of the US embassy in Cambodia, said that he heard about this story since Monday. He sent an expert to check and the expert noted that the 31 trucks provided by the US Army have not been put to use yet, he said that the report is only a rumor.


Anonymous said...

When they talk the logs ,one khmer krom told me that million m3 of logs
in the river Khmer yuon and they can use more than 30 years.
victor sihanouk!

Anonymous said...

THANK the USA FOR the help of more detruction to CAMBODIA and her POOR PEOPLES.

Anonymous said...

Good to see they are using those trucks effectively to develop Cambodia by creating more lands to pave way for us to become one of the leading rice exporters in the world.

Anonymous said...

When it come to evil deeds these corrupt generals never lack imagination. Bravo I'm impressed.

Anonymous said...

As I have made a comand in the first place when I see these first Trucks donnation, I beleaved strongly that Hun Sen's GV will used this truck to destroy Khmer forest within a blink eye. Their top GL and Ah Ognia criminal mind will used for different way. Another hand this GV did not convince to use these trucks for Millitary transportation( They're afraid of Virus) they preferred to use on agriculture and other sectors instead.
God save, protect the King and Cambodia

Anonymous said...

Well, we don't need that much forest. What we need is more farm lands to produce income for people. Just looks at Thailand. How much forest do they have?