Police link Kith Meng to illegal wood racket

The National Police on May 16 published a brief but scathing report on business mogul Kith Meng, citing anonymous sources who accuse his company of using its license to log the reservoir of the nearly completed Lower Sesan 2 hydropower dam to launder timber. Mr. Meng’s Royal Group, which is building the 400-megawatt dam with Chinese partners in Stung Treng province, has handed the job of clearing the 36,000-hectare reservoir to a subsidiary, Ang & Associates Lawyers. Locals and NGOs have been accusing the logging operation of using the reservoir to launder timber illegally logged elsewhere for years with impunity. Tuesday’s report, posted to the National Police website, adds official weight to those claims. “Forest destruction in Sesan district and timber smuggling for sale in Vietnam is happening in the name of the company clearing the Lower Sesan II reservoir, which belongs to Oknha Kith Meng, but authorities ignore and overlook it and do not prevent it,” the report says.

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