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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 25 February, 1994

The Gecko: 25 February, 1994

E veryone has heard about people tapping in to power lines for some free juice

but there's a new scam in town that is a bit more high tech and will cost you an

arm and a leg if you don't watch out.

The Gecko ran into one irate,

ticked off and fed up businessman who found more than $1,500 worth of

unaccounted for international phone calls on his latest monthly bill. After some

checking around town with the telephone wizards, he learned that "Yes" it was

possible with the right gizmo to clip onto anyone's phone line and dial away for

free to points around the globe.

Apparently, the only recourse is to

make a visit to Mr. An Lam Phu down at the PTT and request a three or four digit

"pin number" which you then

have to keep secret and need to use each time you

want to access your own IDD line.

So, if the next time you lift up your

receiver you hear a conversation between someone in Phnom Penh and Timbuktu you

may want to make a quick trip down to the phone company and have a word with Lam

Phu. In fact, you'd better get there soon before the lines start forming around

the block.

Speaking of phone systems, the UNTAC microwave setup that they

left

behind and was supposed to form the basis of a new national grid may

need a bit of an overhaul before it can be used again. Some technicians checking

on the antenna in Siem Reap found that the only piece of equipment left was the

tower itself. All the relay boxes, switches, copper wiring and even the

microwave shed had been liberated to points unknown.

One businessman in

town was recently informed by a visiting delegation of policemen that, according

to the law, all enterprises were required to own guns. The entrepreneur, a bit

puzzled, was expecting a catch and thought that maybe the constables were going

to offer him some hardware for sale. Not so. The officers were, it seems, simply

doing their job and left politely after passing on the information.

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