Forestry Worker Arrested, Charged Over Bribes

A Forestry Administration employee in Kratie province has been charged for allegedly demanding bribes to let people traffic illegally-logged timber for using as pepper stakes, according to a court official.

Khoun Chivin, 43, an administration employee in Chhlong district, was charged with abuse of power and allowing forest crimes on Thursday, a day after his arrest by the Anti-Corruption Unit, said Chea Sopheak, a prosecutor and spokesman for the Kratie Provincial Court.

Mr. Chivin was transferred from Chhlong district to the Forestry Administration’s provincial headquarters on Tuesday, a few days after a short video started circulating on Facebook appearing to show him demanding a bribe from a man trafficking pepper stakes.

“I didn’t know it was illegal,” someone off camera says.

“Normally, if money is not accepted, one is arrested,” Mr. Chivin replies.

“Please forgive me, brother,” the man says.

“It’s my first time.”

Mr. Chivin is heard explaining that one car costs $10.

The prosecutor said Mr. Chivin had been demanding bribes from traffickers in Snuol district in April and May.

Provincial Forestry Administration chief Koy Hout said he transferred Mr. Chivin out of Chhlong district the same day he saw the video on Facebook and immediately alerted authorities, leading to his arrest.

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