Cambodia: Prey Lang activists accuse a company of illegal deforestation; authorities claim the company operates legally

Author: Savi Khorn, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 10 September 2019

"Activists still accuse Think Biotech", 6 September 2019

Forest activists continue to claim that Korean-owned Think Biotech Cambodia Co Ltd is involved in illegal deforestation in the Prey Lang area, especially harvesting timber from resin trees, but the authorities say the company is operating legitimately.

A working group of the National Committee for Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes visited the company …, but found no evidence of the offences that residents and forest activists have accused them of.

Activist Heng Sros told … that residents and forest activists had often seen Think Biotech logging the forest and transporting timber out of the Prey Lang region.

He said that especially in the early part of this year, the company had regularly used its staff to threaten residents to sell resin trees.

… “The company uses trucks and machinery to transport timber from the Prey Lang forest community, but the working group found no timber.

“So the inspections seem to have been pre-arranged so the company was clean before the visit,” he claimed.

… A report on the result of the inspections, …, said the committee saw 670 logs, but only found three irregularities – allowing five foreigners to work without permits, vehicles without Forestry Administration stickers, and not having the correct documentation following a change of ownership.

… Kratie Provincial Court spokesman Chea Sopheak could not be reached, while provincial deputy prosecutor Thuch Panchak Santepheap declined to comment…

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Related companies: Think Biotech (Cambodia)