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‘Publisher’ accused of extortion

A “publisher” whose newspaper hasn’t produced an issue in years, police say, is facing questioning following his arrest on allegations he extorted money from a villager transporting luxury-grade wood.

Police arrested Kang Dara Hul, publisher and owner of the Sachak Koun Khmer newspaper in Siem Reap’s Varin district late Sunday, district police chief, Major Nup Sarak said.

“He was accused of extorting money, and he was sent to provincial court,” Sarak said.

The publisher is suspected of demanding $80 from the villager.

Dara Hul allegedly patrolled the forest for the illegal transport of luxury wood under the guise of covering the issue for his newspaper, Sre Nov commune police officer Keo Piseth said. But he repeatedly charged money from those found transporting wood.

Although Dara Hul worked in Siem Reap with 10 reporters, Piseth said, his newspaper has not published in the three years staff members have occupied its Varin district office.

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