Rangers Seize Policeman’s Tractor & Chainsaw

Preah Vihear: Provincial authorities seized a tractor belonging to a border police officer while it was illegally clearing state forest land in Preah Vihear province.

Rangers of the Kulen-Prohm Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in cooperation with the military police and the army went to search state forest land that was illegally encroached upon on June 29, 2021 in Choam Ksan district, Preah Vihear province.

During the search operation on June 29, park rangers at the Kulen-Prohm Tep Wildlife Sanctuary found a tractor, police said, along with three people who were clearing the state forest in the Kulen-Prohm Tep Wildlife Sanctuary.

Meanwhile, Mr. Song Chan Socheat, Director of Preah Vihear Provincial Department of Environment ordered the police to stop the tractor, but did not arrest the three people.

A news agency reported that the ranger of the Kulen-Prohm Tep Wildlife Sanctuary said that the person in charge of the machine was identified as Koeun, a police officer serving in the 116th Battalion Police Unit, along with two other accomplices clearing of state forest land. The tractor and a chainsaw were seized as evidence and were sent to be stored at the Kbal Damrey Environmental Office in Choam Ksan district, Preah Vihear province.

It remains to be seen whether a police officer and two of his accomplices, who are law enforcement officers who enforce the law but still commit crimes, can escape justice. In recent times, it has been observed that logging, encroachment, and encroachment on state-owned forest land are rampant almost everywhere and continuously in Preah Vihear province. As for the illegal occupation of state land, it is suspected that there may be brokers or officials with money and power as a backing, so that the activities of encroaching on those state lands can run smoothly. MCPN

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