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Court summons senior official over distribution of ELC

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Authorities inspecting timber in the ELC in Mondulkiri. Fresh News

Mondulkiri provincial court has summoned another senior official at Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for questioning related to a Vietnamese’ Economic Land Concession company.

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According to the court document obtained on Friday provincial court prosecutor, Hieng Sopheak summoned secretary of state Chan Savuth to appear before the court on September 12 at 9am.

Last week the court also questioned Lor Reaksmey, undersecretary of state with the Agriculture Ministry in relation to the Pacific Grand Joint-Stock Company Limited with suspicions of logging beyond its allowed areas.

Pacific Grand is owned by Vietnamese national Pham Quoc Long, who serves as the company’s director. The company received an ELC in Mondulkiri’s Koh Nhek district in 2011 for a rubber plantation.

Mr Pham is set to appear before the court’s prosecutor today to answer questions regarding links to illegal logging.

The authorities have been ramping up efforts against forestry crimes in the province. Two well-known timber tycoons, Soeng Sam Ol and Kong Kroeng, have already been indicted for allegedly running large-scale illegal logging operations in Kratie and Mondulkiri provinces.

About 20 other people, including provincial environment officials and owners of companies, have been summoned to be questioned over links to forestry crimes.

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