Cambodia’s Lower Sesan 2 Dam Reservoir used to launder illegal timber, police say

Radio Free Asia

A company owned by business magnate Kith Meng is using its license to clear a reservoir for the Lower Sesan 2 hydropower dam in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province as a cover to launder illegally logged timber, according to a report by the country’s police force.

Ang & Associates Lawyers, a subsidiary of Kith Meng’s Royal Group, has been logging timber from areas outside the 36,000-hectare (89,000-acre) area earmarked for the 400-megawatt dam’s reservoir and selling it to buyers across the border in Vietnam, said the report, posted to the website of the National Police on Tuesday.

Royal Group is constructing the dam in Stung Treng’s Sesan district along with Chinese partners and provided Ang & Associates with a contract to begin clearing the reservoir in 2012.

“Forest destruction activities in Sesan district and timber smuggling for sale in Vietnam is ongoing in the name of the company clearing the Lower Sesan 2 reservoir, owned by business tycoon Kith Meng, but the relevant authorities have ignored it and failed to prevent it,” the report said.

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