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Ancient pond spared filling

Siem Reap authorities returned 10 trucks confiscated earlier this week when they were caught filling part of an ancient pond with sand.

Apsara Authority, which manages and protects the Angkor and Siem Reap area, also dropped a court complaint with provincial authorities on Wednesday, a day after they saw trucks dumping sand into the pond, Tith Narong, Siem Reap city police chief said yesterday.

“Apsara Authority agreed to drop their complaint after that person [who ordered the dumping] promised to dig up the soil [they had deposited in the pond] and stop doing this,” Narong said.

After receiving complaints from villagers who saw the trucks dumping on Tuesday, Aspara Authority officials ordered them to stop, Narong said. A woman who owns property nearby had paid the company that owns the trucks to widen the road by filling a portion of the pond, Narong said.

The woman who ordered the dumping possessed no permit to do so, Narong said. He did not release her name or the name of the company to which the trucks belonged.

All 10 trucks were confiscated by Aspara Authority and taken to Siem Reap City Hall, said Svay Dangkum commune deputy police chief Soun Sophan.

But the company that owns the trucks will not be held responsible, he said. But he struggled to understand why someone would want the ancient pond altered.

“Villagers living in this area are trying to conserve this ancient pond that placed in here since Angkor empire,” Sophan said. “I don’t know why those people want to fill up the pond.”

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