Meas Thorng, first deputy governor of Mondolkiri province, has been suspended as part of a continuing crackdown on illegal logging, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday. Earlier, Mondolkiri Governor Chhaom Bun Khan had been suspended.
The officials have been suspended for allegedly being unable to stop 380 truckloads of logs from being cut and taken from Mondolkiri to Vietnam last November and December.
“We have to take serious and clear-cut action,” Hun Sen said at Tuesday’s official opening of Phnom Tamao Zoo in Takeo province. “Anyone who got involved will be sent to court. I think that measures to strip them of their positions is not enough. They have to face legal action.”
Environment Minister Mok Mareth said Wednesday that the provincial director of the environment department also was suspended because he did not report the activities to Phnom Penh.
Seven police officials in Mondolkiri have also been suspended and two court officials will be suspended, said Khun Haing, minister of Parliamentary Relations and Inspection and chairman of a newly-formed commission to investigate illegal logging.