Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGO worker swindles land-dispute victims

NGO worker swindles land-dispute victims

The deputy chief of the NGO December Second, Yon Sothy, is photographed after his arrest in Preah Sihanouk province.
The deputy chief of the NGO December Second, Yon Sothy, is photographed after his arrest in Preah Sihanouk province. Photo supplied

NGO worker swindles land-dispute victims

A local NGO worker was arrested on Tuesday in Preah Sihanouk province for allegedly misrepresenting himself as a land deal broker and taking advantage of villagers involved in a land dispute for personal profit.

Kol Phaly, deputy provincial police chief, said suspect Yon Sothy was the deputy chief of December Second, an NGO that primarily worked to help victims of land disputes.

“Around 174 villagers filed a complaint against him. Now we have already sent him to the provincial court,” Phaly said.

Governor Yon Min said Sothy took between $500 and $1,000 from each family involved in the dispute, promising to give them land in exchange.

“I ordered the provincial police to arrest him . . . He presented himself as having authority to allot land to the people . . . He used my name for a long time. He lied to the villagers, [claiming] that he gave me the money,” Min said.

Min added that he would report the issue to the Ministry of Interior.

“Now we are preparing the documents to terminate that NGO,” Min said, adding that the NGO was appropriately registered. “We are not sure whether it was just an individual person who committed this action, or the NGO institution . . . It’s connected to the deputy, so we will terminate,” he said.

Keo Somony, deputy prosecutor, said the investigating judge has ordered Sothy to be put in pre-trial detention, but did not know the charges.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all