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Firm ‘evicts’ families

Heng Kimheak, a representative of more than 400 families involved in a land dispute, sits in Phnom Penh’s Wat Botum park yesterday after travelling from Kratie province to submit a petition
Heng Kimheak, a representative of more than 400 families involved in a land dispute, sits in Phnom Penh’s Wat Botum park yesterday after travelling from Kratie province to submit a petition. Heng Chivoan

Firm ‘evicts’ families

Representatives of over 400 families embroiled in a land dispute with a company in Kratie’s Snuol district travelled to Phnom Penh yesterday to submit a petition calling for the government to intervene.

“In the last few days, the company has hired Vietnamese forces to cooperate with Cambodian armed forces to evict us,” said Heng Kimheak, 50, one of the 35 village representatives that came to the capital.

In a letter obtained by the Post yesterday, a company called Bin Pheurk Rubber Plantation is accused of using vehicles to destroy crops spanning 2,025 hectares, an area that hundreds of villagers call home.

Only 84 families originate from Snuol district, the letter says, while the rest are impoverished migrants originally from Kampong Cham and Prey Veng province.

“Authorities and the company destroyed 266 houses owned by villagers on May 2 and 3,” said Khy Chhay, 58.

District police chief Chan Sokin said authorities were acting in cooperation with judicial police. The company could not be reached for comment.

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