Protected Forest in Cambodian Commune Illegally Logged Through Official Collusion: Mother Nature

Around 1,200 hectares (2,965 acres) of protected forest from a commune in Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri province has been illegally logged for timber and sold to businessmen from neighboring Vietnam through collusion with Cambodian authorities, an environmental watchdog group said Wednesday.

An investigator with the Cambodian nongovernmental organization Mother Nature, who spoke to RFA’s Khmer Service on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said his group spent a month inspecting forest area in Sesan commune, in Ratanakkiri’s Ou Ya Dav district, and located around 20 trucks he said were used by Vietnamese loggers to haul illegally logged timber across the border.

“About 1,200 hectares of [illegally obtained] forest timber was sold to Vietnam through systemic collusion,” he said, adding that the contraband was bring processed in Vietnam’s Gia Lai province.

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