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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiri immigration official moved amid inquiry

Ratanakkiri immigration official moved amid inquiry

A local immigration chief in Ratanakkiri province has been removed from his position and transferred to another department weeks after his potential involvement in illegal mining came to light.

According to a provincial court summons from last week, Long Rokha, former director of the immigration department at O’Yadav border checkpoint, is also expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

“I, Seng Sim Soreya, investigating judge, invite Long Rokha as a witness . . . for questioning on illegal mining that took place in Phaknhai commune, O’Yadav district,” the summons reads.

In mid-August, five Vietnamese nationals to whom Rokha was renting a home were arrested for mining without a licence, with the provincial court tasked with investigating whether or not Rokha was involved.

On Thursday, Rokha was transferred to be the chief of logistics at the administration department, according to a Ministry of Interior announcement, though ministry officials yesterday refused to say why Rokha was transferred and whether it was related to the illegal mining issue. Rokha couldn’t be reached for comment.

Y Chamroeun, deputy chief of Trapaing Thlong border checkpoint, was promoted to replace Rokha, according to the statement.

Meng Saktheara, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said the illegal mining case was being investigated at the provincial level and the ministry was not involved.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

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