Koh Kong (Rasmei News): Flooded forest land along the seashore and river mouth in Andoung Thuek commune has been sold to a private company.
The activities of logging and destroying the forest land has been going on for weeks, without intervention from any local authorities.
Residents living in the area told Rasmey Kampuchea on August 27, requesting not to be identified, that illegal logging of forest land has been taking place in the Prek Kantout and Prek Ksang areas.
According to the people, offenders cut down mangrove trees and small-scale ferns, and the land has already been cleared. Now it is being sold to a private company.
Mr. Phall Phal, director of Koh Kong Environmental Protection Department, acknowledged the location of these crimes reported by people. He immediately sent environmentalists to check for evidence of illegally cleared land and illegal logging to build a case to go to court.
According to the Law on Forestry of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, July 20, 2002, Chapter 15, Articles 90-93 States that: persons or legal entities who commit deforestation will be liable to imprisonment, confiscation, fines by courts, interim fines, indemnification damages, revocation or suspension of the agreement or permit.
If the perpetrator refuses to pay a transactional fine or fixes the damage, the Forestry Administration may forward the case to the court. Forest offenses shall be subject to administrative penalty in addition to the penalties set forth in this law. First-level forestry crimes are punishable by imprisonment from five years to ten years and confiscated all evidence to state property.
Local authorities are investigating the claims.