Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kratie wood trucked to Vietnam nightly: NGO

Phak Seangly,The Phnom Penh Post
11 December 2013

A Vietnamese company has been transporting thousands of dollars' worth of illegally logged luxury timber from Kratie’s Snuol district to Vietnam on a nightly basis under the nose of authorities, an
environmental protection NGO said yesterday.

At least 10 trucks with an estimated five cubic metres of luxury wood per truck, valued at approximately $22,500, have travelled from Snuol district to the Vietnamese border every night over the last few months, Chea Hean, director of the Natural Resources and Wildlife Preservation Organisation (NRWPO), said.

NRWPO has found that heavy logging is occurring in Snuol Wildlife Sanctuary and in a bordering land concession owned by Vietnamese company Bin Pheouk II, he added.

“At night, [smugglers] transport luxury timber by truck to sell in Vietnam,” Hean said. The presence of four police stations in the 25 kilometres between Snuol district and the Vietnamese border is doing little to stymie the flow of wood, he continued.

“Forestry crimes are happening but no one takes action, because traders pay off environment officials, police and military police,” Hean said.

Local authorities denied that logging is an issue in the area.

Snuol Wildlife Sanctuary director Kong Ngim told the Post yesterday that there was no logging within in the sanctuary. Nhan Soyun, Snuol district deputy police chief, denied any allegations that he and fellow officials were involved in logging or transporting the wood.

Touch Buny, a forestry administration chief in the district, said he was not aware of any illegal transport of timber to Vietnam.

Bin Pheouk II could not be reached yesterday.


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