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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police shut MobiTel offices

Police shut MobiTel offices

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090206_03_1.jpg

Vice chairman of Royal Group says there is nothing untoward about the heavy police presence, but staff say they were unexpectedly given the day off.

Photo by:
HENG CHIVOAN 

A policeman with multiple two-way radios stands outside MobiTel's main offices Thursday.

THE staff of Cambodia's well-known MobiTel Company was kicked out of the company's main offices on Phnom Penh's Sihanouk Boulevard morning when municipal and military police surrounded the building, police said Thursday.

Pol Pithey, municipal police deputy chief, said the "police did not go simply to surround the company['s offices]. We went because the MobiTel company asked us to protect their security".

He declined to specify why MobiTel had requested beefed-up security.

Phnom Penh's municipal police chief, Touch Naruth, agreed that the extra police were simply to protect the MobiTel offices, saying that "what happens inside the office we don't have anything to do with".

He added: "According to their staff, they are not working today but we don't know anything about this, as it is their company's policy."

Cambodian tycoon Kith Meng, MobiTel owner and chairman of Royal Group, could not be reached for comment Thursday. However, Kith Thieng, Kith Meng's brother and vice chairman of Royal Group, and president of Rock entertainment productions, said there was nothing untoward about the move.

"There are a lot of police surrounding MobiTel company because they just came to check on the security of the company. There is no problem."

According to one MobiTel employee, who requested anonymity, staff were unexpectedly given leave Thursday.

"All of MobiTel staff have one day off today and without this being confirmed before," he said.

Soun Sidara, who had come to MobiTel to pay his mobile phone bill, said he was surprised to find the office shut.

"I supposed that the company was closed because there are a lot of police in front of the office, but their network is still working," she added.

MobiTel is a joint venture between The Royal Group and Millicom International Cellular. The largest provider in Cambodia since 1997, the company has enjoyed market shares exceeding 67 percent for over eight years. Operating 3.5G in the capital and EDGE nationwide, MobiTel has driven the telecommunication industry in the country, with over 85 percent of all cities, towns and villages covered.

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