Authorities in Preah Sihanouk province have fined a company and ordered the discontinuation of its large dredging operation for working without a license, officials said Thursday, although they claimed to have few details about the ships or the company’s owner.
Provincial Governor Spoang Sarath said he ordered a company to stop dredging sand from the Thmar Rong river in Stung Hav district and transferring its haul to a larger ship 10 km off the coast.
“We already stopped the business operation a while ago because there was no proper licensing from the government,” he said by telephone, but added that he was unsure of the name of the company or its owner.
“The province has no authorization to allow this company to operate dredging,” Spoang Sarath said.
Duong Sam Ath, director of the provincial fisheries administration, said that on Jan 22 his department received the governor’s order to shut down the dredging operations of a company he identified as the Ung Vuthy Trading Company. Duong Sam Ath said he did not know who owned the company.
“We fined and ordered them to stop all activities because it is against the law,” he said, adding that the company was fined $1,625.
Both Spoang Sarath and Duong Sam Ath said that the ships first arrived off the coast of Stung Hav Beach from Koh Kong province on Jan 17.
Stung Hav District Governor Chey Vison said Wednesday that the company had created a stir among local authorities and fishermen because there hadn’t been dredging operations in his district before Jan 17.
Contact details for Ung Vuthy Trading Company could not be found Thursday.