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Officials prepare lawsuit over unmarked fertilisers

Banteay Meanchey Agriculture Department officials and anti-economic crime police are preparing to launch a lawsuit against a businessman after they discovered 127 cases of fertiliser and 21 bags of chemical substances – some containing banned poisons – during a joint crackdown on his storage facility yesterday.

Authorities initiated the raid in Kampong Svay commune after retailers and vendors reported that they had been buying fertilisers and agriculture-related chemicals, which lacked the licence and logo of the Agriculture Ministry, from business owner Kong Narin.

“The substances our forces seized were of 23 different types of chemicals and were also unlicensed and did not have instructions in the Cambodian language,” provincial anti-economic crime deputy police chief Chab Sotharith said.

After further examination, Sotharith added that they found some poisonous compounds in the substances like the chemical Paraquat, which is banned by the Agriculture Ministry and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

According to the country’s chemical substance inspection laws, individuals who import fertilisers illegally will be sentenced to two to five years in prison.

Provincial Agriculture Department legal director Seng Meng said that they are already preparing a lawsuit against the suspect.

Businessman Narin, however, denied that he imported the products and said he purchased them locally.

“I have registered four types of chemicals with the ministry already and I’m applying for registration for eight more,” Narin said.

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