A report from a former government forest monitoring group earlier this year has failed to dent the trade of illegal timber, residents of Kampong Cham province say.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, residents said they have stood helplessly and watched as truck after truck laden with high-value trees—illegally cut and harvested—pass them by on National Highway 6A, on their way from the provincial forests to destinations unknown.
The governor who controls Kampong Cham, Hun Neng, brother of the prime minister, could not be reached for comment.
Witnesses say trucks with large timbers loaded onto them, with high-quality trees resting underneath, are covered with blue tarps and sent out of the forest.
The forest monitor Global Witness earlier this year issued a report linking the trade to Prime Minister Hun Sen, his relatives and friends, and a Cambodian "kleptocratic elite."
In the wake of the report, Hun Neng said if he ever saw a Global Witness investigator, he would break his head open, a threat the group quickly denounced.