Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Reporters’ accused of extorting timber driver

‘Reporters’ accused of extorting timber driver

‘Reporters’ accused of extorting timber driver

A "reporter" was arrested by police in Kratie province’s Snuol district for allegedly assaulting and attempting to extort a driver transporting luxury wood furniture on Wednesday morning.

According to district police chief Chan Sokim, suspect Koam Phearoath, 38, worked for the little-known Voice of Equality News based in Phnom Penh.

Sokim reported that 25-year-old victim Phal Samnang was en route to the capital when stopped by five or six men who identified themselves as journalists and demanded about $2.50 each to not report to authorities that the furniture was made of illegal timber.

Samnang told police he had encountered the men on previous trips, and each time they extorted similar amounts.

“I asked [to pay] next time, but they . . . accused me of lying” Samnang said.

Confronting them, he exclaimed: “You are all at this age and don’t you know how to earn money besides [extortion]?”

Subsequently, Samnang was beaten unconscious.

After interrogation, Phearoath reportedly confirmed being present but denied partaking in the crime. Instead, he accused two “reporters” – of different outlets – who fled.

The suspect also claimed the lug wrench he carried was only a precautionary measure.

Huon Mara, the director of the newspaper in question, said Phearoath will be fired.

Sokim confirmed that the suspect had been charged on counts of assault and extortion while two other suspects are being tracked down.

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