Four Kratie military police officers have failed to respond to a court summons after more than 100 villagers accused them of extortion, threats of violence and illegal detention.
Two villagers in Sombou district’s O’Kreung commune, Hear Long and Chum Boeun, said yesterday that the lawsuit had been filed against Kratie deputy military police commander Mut Vannak and three subordinates.
The villagers accuse the officers of illegally detaining them at gunpoint and accusing them of illegal logging to extort cash.
“Vannak and his subordinates extorted from $400 to $1,000 from the villagers, who just transported wood to make doors and windows, not for sale,” Boeun said.
Long – a driver for a local timber dealer – said that the officers stopped his Lexus on Wednesday, accused him of transporting wild animals, pointed their guns at his chest and detained him at the 708 security office.
“They said that my car was loaded with wild animals, but they found nothing. They pointed their rifles and guns at me and detained me for two days and a night. They demanded $6,000 from my boss for the release,” he claimed.
Ty Sovin Thal, Kratie provincial court prosecutor, said the case had been forwarded to the provincial prosecutor, while Ros Sarett, a deputy commander of the Kratie provincial military police, said the broker and the provincial military police had settled outside of court.