Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
THREE farmers were charged with the illegal destruction of protected forestl and occupying state land in Kratie province on Saturday.
Eav Saphom, governor of Ang Snuol district, said the men were arrested on Thursday after they were allegedly found clearing more than six hectares of protected state forest in Thnoal village, Svay Chreah commune.
He claimed they planned to sell the land to private businesses in the province.
The three suspects were identified as An Nhanh, 48, Prak Sopheap, 45, and Ang Sy, 19.
“They were officially charged with illegally cutting down state forest and occupying state land in the province. They have now been sent to the provincial prison to wait for their trial in the future,” Eav Saphom said.
He added that the occupation of state land in Kratie was a persistent problem, as many people try to build houses or start businesses in forested areas.
“To prevent people from committing illegal cutting or [occupying] state forests, our authority has been working hard in educating villagers about forest policies as well as other related forestry laws and documents.
‘”We have also asked them to cooperate in reporting to authorities when they see people cutting down the forests in their communities,” Eav Saphom said.
“We hope that with good cooperation from villagers and related authorities, we will be able to prevent the cutting down of state forests as well as illegal logging and wildlife killing in the province.”