Ratanakkiri forest patrollers catch loggers

By: Phak Seangly

Members of the Jarai ethnic community in Ratanakkiri province turned to human rights NGO Adhoc for help yesterday after briefly detaining alleged illegal loggers.

Community representative Sal Vuth, 41, said a group of 17 Jarai people came across two Vietnamese loggers while they were patrolling a forest in O’Yadav district at the weekend.

“They were cutting down a tree with a chainsaw, so we surrounded and arrested them,” he said.

When the community interrogated the men, believed to be 40 to 50 years old, he added, they claimed border officials had given them permission to take the timber.

Vuth said he and his Jarai neighbours let the two go, but seized their chainsaw and took photos as evidence, which they later presented to the rights group Adhoc.

Adhoc provincial coordinator Chhay Thy said the NGO would examine the case today and report to authorities.

O’Yadav District Governor, Mar Vichet, said the community had informed the district authorities about the case and the authorities were deploying more forces to look out for offenders.

SOURCE: THE PHNOM PENH POST