Military Police Official to Be Investigated for Illegal Logging

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Military police chief Sao Sokha photographed Monday morning before heading to Kampong Chhnang, following Hun Sen’s orders. (GRK News)
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The national military police are investigating a deputy bureau chief for alleged involvement in illegal timber trafficking.

Eng Hy, spokesman for the national military police, said on Friday the force was looking into Chap Saran, deputy director of the cryptography department, after a leaked audio recording was circulated online purportedly of military police commander Sao Sokha berating his officials over Saran’s alleged crime.

The Prey Lang Community Network has previously accused Saran of being involved in companies’ logging core areas of the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.

In the four-minute audio clip, Sokha says commanders must be responsible for their officers’ actions.

“When Chap Saran went to do his illegal business, did you report it to the commander of the military police or not? I’ve never received this report, and you all allow this. How are you goddamn managing them? How are you their goddamn boss? If you can’t do it, write a letter of resignation from the military police. You can’t allow this to happen like this. You need to write it now, I’ll sign it now and kick you out of the military police. We can’t allow evil people to stay in the military police.”

He says the force must strictly enforce government orders, “especially those related to the forests and national resource issues.”

Sokha is also head of the national anti-deforestation committee.

“If you hide, you will also bear responsibility,” he says in the purported recording. “I have reminded you many times,” he adds, ordering his officials to follow Prime Minister Hun Sen’s repeated instructions to fight corruption in five steps — take a bath, look in the mirror, clean the body, apply treatment and conduct surgery.

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