Source : Khmer Times
Anti-economic crime officers from Kampong Speu provincial police and Thporng district forces have uncovered eight unlicensed wood workshops as part of an effort to clamp down on forestry crime.
District police chief Hun Sok Hon said the crackdown would be ongoing throughout his district until all communes were inspected.
“We found small workshops that make tables, chairs and closets. They were family businesses. The crackdown will be ongoing and we have already inspected three of seven communes,” he said.
“The crackdown is part of our annual sweep, which we report to our superiors. We are not the ones who issue licences to operate. We just check and instruct them to contact the relevant bodies.”
“We haven’t found any big workshops without licences yet, but if we do, they will be closed,” he added. Pov Ping, chief of the anti-economic crime bureau, did not reply to requests for comment.
However, he told local media eight workshops were ordered to sign a contract promising to request licences.
Last week, Mr Ping and Thporng district police seized six homemade tractors loaded with timber and being transported out of the Phnom Oral Sanctuary, destined for furniture workshops in the district.
Oung Samith, coordinator for rights group Licadho in Kampong Speu province, said most of the workshops were family run.
“There are some workshops here, but just small family businesses which mostly make doors and tables,” he said. “We rarely see them working with luxury woods.”