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Land dispute: Corruption accusation by villagers

Land dispute: Corruption accusation by villagers

More than 200 families embroiled in a land dispute in Battambang province have filed a complaint to the National Assembly’s anti-corruption commission, accusing a commune chief in Bavel district of colluding with the provincial director of land management to solicit bribes for land titles.

The dispute is over 1,000 hectares of farmland in seven villages in Bavel’s Boeung Pram commune. A group of 255 families were granted titles for 153 hectares between them, while another group of 305 families has also been planting crops in the area without land titles, said community representative Thuy Vy.

The villagers have accused commune chief Chhea Ny and provincial land management director Ou Rida of conspiring to sell off the land to the villagers.

Ny yesterday denied the villagers’ claims. Rida could not be reached.

Ho Vann, head of parliament’s corruption commission, said the commission “will consider seeking the truth about the . . . accusations”.

Ny said the issue was complicated by the fact that hundreds more villagers were trying to stake a claim to the same plot of land.

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