Stung Treng provincial authorities on Friday ordered a crackdown on more than 200 families who had burned forests illegally, urging them to put an end to all illegal land clearing activities.
More than 23,000 suspects have been arrested since 2015 on suspicion of engaging in illegal logging and poaching wild animals, costing the state an estimated 100 billion baht in losses.
The loggers sell timber to traders who will distribute them to various depots in the northeast provinces before exporting them to Vietnam.
As Myanmar works to restructure to private sector management of the country’s forestry and timber resources, reports of illegal logging are surging.
In Thailand and Cambodia rural monks often “ordain” trees, but illegal loggers and corrupt government officials don’t respect such religious traditions.
Reports from the National Bank of Cambodia raises questions about the government’s ban on timber exports, as they show $5 million exported last year.
Fraud occurs in development projects in which dishonest officials embezzle state funds and assets, including money for schools and health services across the country
Despite official pledges to halt the trade, smugglers in Cambodia and Laos are finding ways to illegally ship timber to Vietnam. The precious hardwood is often used in furniture factories that ship their products largely to China.
Three people have been shot and killed by soldiers in northeastern Cambodia, apparently in retaliation for seizing equipment from illegal loggers.
Cambodia is a dangerous country for environmental activists like Leng Ouch, who won the 2017 Asia Game Changer Award for fighting illegal logging and corruption.