Pledging to crack down on illegal dumping in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered environment and municipal officials to find and punish the people who dumped 30 tons of second-hand shoes in a pond near the Phnom Penh railway station.
The shoes, which are believed to have been dumped a year ago, were discovered recently as water levels dropped. When the owner of the shoes is found, “tough legal action must be taken against the offender,” Hun Sen said Thursday at the closing ceremony of the annual Ministry of Environment conference.
If cases like this continue, he said, “it is tantamount to turning Cambodia into a illegal dumping ground.”
Hun Sen also ordered restrictions on importing used products. “Some crooked people may want to import waste disguised as second hand goods,” he said.
“The government will not allow imports to Cambodia of overseas waste, no matter under what form,” Hun Sen said.
In the case of the shoes, Pok Kosal, deputy governor of Don Penh district, said the owner of the land by the pond was paid to allow dumping.
The landowner said he does not know the people who dumped the shoes or where they are from, Pok Kosal said.
Heng Nareth, director of the pollution control department at the Ministry of Environment, said his office is now searching for those who dumped the shoes.