Phnom Penh (FN), Jan. 15 – In the aftermath of mounted media reports on illegal exports of timber especially to neighboring Vietnam, the Cambodian government has now come up with not only a new body to crack down on the crimes but also allocated substantial resources and equipment for it.

According to a Facebook posted by Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, who attended the weekly Cabinet meeting this morning, Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a directive to set up a committee that will be equipped with two choppers to crack down on illegal timber exports to Vietnam. The formation of the committee was suggested by Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior.

Gen. Sao Sokha, commander of the country's Military Police, will be head of the Committee while deputy director general of the national police will be deputy and governors of provinces that share the borders with Vietnam are members, according to Khieu Kanharith. 

The minister also said on his Facebook page that the premier clearly named the log dealers as Okhna Lim Bunn and Soeung Sam Ol, with a direct order to Tbong Kmom provincial governor, Prach Chan, and Memoth district governor to take actions immediately or risk being demoted. “Samdech Techo ordered that timber-smuggling routes to Vietnam be closed off and he also referred to media reports on the involvement of Oknha Lim Bunna, alias ‘Khna’ and Soeung Sam Ol who are behind the crimes...,” said Kanharith.