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An excavator works on the construction of a Royal Group port on Koh Rong Island off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province in May. RFA
An excavator works on the construction of a Royal Group port on Koh Rong Island off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province in May. RFA

Gov’t halts building of Koh Rong island port

A Sihanoukville provincial coastal working group has ordered tycoon Kith Meng’s Royal Group to stop building a port on Koh Rong, saying the development was illegal.

“The company has the legal right to invest in Koh Rong from the state, but on June 7, the provincial working group had to stop the construction of the port because it was illegal,” said Sihanoukville City Governor Y Sokleng, adding that the city had not received legal documents.

Sokleng said construction of the port had just begun with only five pillars in place.

Royal Group’s liason and business development manager Remy Khin said he could not talk about the issue when reached for comment.

In January, Royal Group was ordered to stop construction of a passenger port on Sihanoukville’s Otres Beach, citing violation of coastal development guidelines and lack of a permit.

In 2008, the Cambodian government granted the Royal Group a 99-year concession to develop Koh Rong island. Construction of the company’s first five-star hotel on the island, scheduled for completion in late 2016, is underway.

Additional reporting by Donna Airoldi

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