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Machines operate on a plot of land in Khsach Kandal district on Saturday that villagers claim was illegally purchased. Photo supplied
Machines operate on a plot of land in Khsach Kandal district on Saturday that villagers claim was illegally purchased. Photo supplied.

Illegal land sales denied in Kandal

A Kandal province businessman yesterday denied involvement in illegal land transactions after villagers in Khsach Kandal district last week alleged he illegally bought and filled parts of a seasonal lake used for communal fishing and farming.

Ly Sengkheang, director of BS Land and Home, acknowledged yesterday that his company holds nearly 100 hectares of seasonally flooded land in Svay Chrum and Prek Takov communes, but maintained it was not part of the lake – which is technically state land and ineligible for sale by individuals.

“The location of our company’s land is not in Boeung Kach lake. The company bought the land from the villagers legally, and the buying . . . included legal land titles as well,” he said yesterday.

Residents had accused Sengkheang of buying sections of the lake from locals with no right to sell, then filling them with sand. However, Sengkheang said that the accusations were “untrue”.

District Governor Kong Sorphoan said land “grabbing in Boeung Kach lake does not exist; however, I will send officials to inspect the case again.”

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