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Forestry officials summoned in illegal logging probe

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Authorities seize timber from Soeng Sam Ol. Fresh News

Mondulkiri Provincial Court yesterday warned three forestry administration officials in the province that they will face arrest if they fail to appear next month for questioning over possible links to the illegal logging operation of well-known timber tycoon Soeng Sam Ol.

The court identified the officials as Loeung Phirun, 55, chief of Sre Sangkum-Nongkhilek forestry administration, Hun Vannak, 50, chief of Royor forestry administration, and Kong Vireak, 46, chief of the Koh Nhek forestry administration.

According to three separate summons issued yesterday by Hieng Sopheak, provincial court prosecutor, the three men must appear at Mondulkiri provincial military police headquarters for questioning before August 24.

In the warrant, they were accused of giving permission contrary to the law, allowing forest crimes to happen, failing to report or file a complaint related to forestry crime in their jurisdictions, intentional negligence in their duty and giving false or withholding information which resulted in forest crimes.

“This warrant allows judicial police to use public forces to bring them in, if they fail to appear,” Mr Sopheak said.

Earlier this week, authorities announced they are seeking to arrest four more people and question four others over links to Mr Sam Ol, who is charged over illegal logging operations in the province.

The four others summoned for questioning are Neng Mao, 50, and Saing Sokhonn, 27, both managers in the tycoon’s Master K Sun Company.

The two others are Wentao Zhang, director of Yan Chao (Cambodia) Company, and Song Wenzhang, general manager of the Thach Wood (Cambodia) company.

They have been summoned to appear for questioning at the provincial military police headquarters before August 9.

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