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Civil war relic for sale in capital

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Min Oma, 49, displays the wing of a plane discovered in the Mekong River. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

A newly found piece of the Royal Cambodian Air Force’s history can be found for sale at a scrap metal dealer in the capital’s Russey Keo district.

Russey Keo district police chief Som Bunny said yesterday that the wing of an aircraft bearing the Cambodian Air Force logo, which is still connected to the plane’s wheel, was found earlier this month by a fisherman in the Mekong River near Koh Dach commune.

The fisherman then sold the wing to the owner of a scrap metal yard along the river, 49-year-old Min Oma.

“Police have no right to ban people from selling these parts of an aircraft because they are not [part of] the national heritage. It was found by the people, so they can sell or keep is as they want,” the district police chief said.

Min Oma said he bought the wing, weighing about 500 kilograms, from the fisherman for more than US$400, but thinks it has a value of at least double that.

He added that he believed the plane crashed into the Mekong in the early 1970s during the civil war.

He is trying to sell the wing for about US$1,000.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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