A Change of Guard

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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Date set for auction of seized timber

School of Vice

Vietnam never had it so good under its propped up Hun Sen's CPP regime. This is precisely the reason nationalists like Pen Sovan and others were eliminated from the party and its leadership. Sovan himself is known to have objected to the Vietnamese demand for monopolised stake in rubber in favour of Russian investment instead. As we have all seen, rubber projects [ostensibly - so it is argued - would enable Cambodia to claim a profitable stake on the world market in rubber] means clearing vast swathes of state-owned and communal estates previously densely covered with primary forests for rubber trees to be planted under the leased ELC framework. The primary casualties of this process [still on-going] are the unprecedented loss of the country's forest cover, wildlife, communal access and ownership, forced evictions etc., harming most of the indigenous peoples and their livelihood, and of course, the devastating phenomenon of the timber "trade" engaged between two principal players: Vietnam and the ruling CPP elite. 

Amid all of this, the rubber 'dream' itself has virtually faded into abstraction, along with the ridiculously cheap nominal rent collected off these ELCs. 

Even this timber 'auction' will likely result in yet again most of the timber being eventually transported to Vietnam on the cheap - involving the same names and middle men - before being sold on at a healthy profit on the world market by Vietnamese timber 'firms' directly or indirectly controlled by the Communist Party of Vietnam. Who else?


Authorities examine illegal timber in a warehouse in Tbong Khmum province during a logging crackdown earlier this year. Photo supplied
Authorities examine illegal timber in a warehouse in Tbong Khmum province during a logging crackdown earlier this year. Photo supplied

Date set for auction of seized timber
Tue, 7 June 2016 ppp
Phak Seangly

The Ministry of Economy and Finance yesterday announced that the first auction of illegal timber seized from economic land concessions during an ongoing crackdown will be held on June 27 through July 1 in Mondulkiri.

The 60,000 cubic metres of wood to be sold at the auction comes from seven companies in Mondulkiri and is worth about $12 million. The anti-logging commission formed in January to combat the trade has seized more than 70,000 cubic metres so far this year.

“Individuals or entities, except people who used to commit forestry crimes and owe debts to the state, can join the bidding,” Suong Mengkea, director of the bidding committee, said in a statement.

The Ministry of Finance did not say what will happen to the proceeds. Hun Sen had said in May that revenue from the auction would go to the Ministry of Education. Government spokesman Phay Siphan, however, said in May that the Education Ministry was not guaranteed to get all of the revenue.

The Ministry of Education could not be reached yesterday.

Timber tycoon Try Pheap last month vowed not to participate in the auction to avoid public criticism.

The seven companies include Dainam, Daithan, Khmer Angkor Agriculture, Master K Son, Lim Royal, Unigreen, and Binh Phouc. Among these companies, Dainam has the most timber, with 26,163 cubic metres.

Kiv Leakhena, an officer with the Forestry Administration, said that Mondulkiri has the most seized wood, but future auctions will have wood taken in other provinces.

1 comment:

Kim Ea said...

Where the culprits ,get caught in this massive timbers destruction illegally ? They're may be at their mansion in capital city, drink Whisky or rape young and pretty Khmer girl? or may be form a subgroup of new faces jump in to buy this cheap timber back for another profit . It is ridiculous or incompetent in a colluding scheme of this government just got the timber but never ever caught any one culprit criminal and brought to court ?