Mondulkiri Provincial Court yesterday charged three Chinese nationals and is questioning a provincial environment department and two forestry administration officials over illegal logging activities linked to tycoon Soeng Sam Ol.
Meas Pros, court spokesman, yesterday confirmed that the provincial court prosecutor charged the three Chinese nationals over forestry crimes, but did not remember the exact charge.
“Three Chinese nationals have already been charged, but one environment department official and two forestry administration officials are still being questioned by the court,” he said.
Mr Pros noted that National Committee for Forest Crime Prevention officials arrested the three Chinese nationals on Thursday and the three provincial officials on Friday.
He said he could not remember the names of the Chinese suspects and would provide the details today.
NCFCP, in its website on Saturday, identified the environment department official as Han Sokhon, chief of Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, and the provincial forestry administration officials as Saro Ratana and Hong Vanne.
Brigadier General Eng Hy, National Military Police spokesman, on Saturday said on his Facebook page that the officials were arrested on Friday in connection with illegal forestry crimes committed by the firm Pacific Company in Mondulkiri province and were sent to the provincial court on Saturday evening.
He said that three Chinese nationals were arrested on Thursday in connection with illegal logging by a Chinese-owned company Touchwood (Cambodia).
Mr Sam Ol was arrested on July 9 and was charged on July 12 over illegal logging operations.
Brig Gen Hy yesterday confirmed that the three officials were arrested on July 26 and three Chinese nationals were arrested on July 25 and all were sent to the provincial court.
He declined to provide more details and referred questions to court officials.
Brigadier General Hel Bonarel, Mondulkiri provincial military police commander, yesterday said military police officers cooperated with NCFCP to make the arrests and declined to comment further.
Earlier this month, NCFCP had identified two other companies which were granted Economic Land Concessions in the province and are suspected of colluding with Mr Sam Ol and also running their own illegal logging operations.
The companies are Chinese-owned Vichary and Cambodian-owned Nayna.
On July 18, Brig Gen Hy said that five companies are under investigation in connection with illegal logging operations.
The other companies are Mr Sam Ol’s Master K Sun, Touchwood (Cambodia) and Chinese-owned firm Yan Chao (Cambodia).