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Sen Sok locals accuse ex-rep of stealing land

About 20 representatives of more than 160 Sen Sok district families delivered a petition to the Land Management Ministry yesterday claiming a former community representative poached land from them that they had spent seven years reclaiming through the courts.

In 2005, 163 families in Phnom Penh Thmey commune’s Rong Chak village became embroiled in a land dispute with businesswoman Keo Neam. In 2012, however, the Supreme Court finally awarded them land titles, and they were allowed to return the following year.

However, in their petition yesterday, the villagers asked the Land Management Ministry to rescind a letter issued last year promising to grant them titles as their named representative in the letter, Chea Sarum, had not represented them since 2012, new representative Houy Daravy said yesterday.

“She faked the documents and lost her right to represent us,” Daravy said, adding that Sarum had assumed control of all 163 families’ land and was planning to sell it.

Neither Sarum nor Land Management Ministry spokesmen could be reached for comment yesterday.

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