Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Siem Reap paparazzi busted for trying to 'extort VIPs'

Siem Reap paparazzi busted for trying to 'extort VIPs'

Three ‘journalists’ pose for a photo with their press passes in Siem Reap province earlier this week after they were detained for attempting to extort money from people.
Three ‘journalists’ pose for a photo with their press passes in Siem Reap province earlier this week after they were detained for attempting to extort money from people. Photo supplied

Siem Reap paparazzi busted for trying to 'extort VIPs'

Three “journalists” from media that have never published a story were arrested and interrogated in Siem Reap province on Tuesday for allegedly trying to extort money from public officials and businesspeople attending the Water Festival.

Police said that the trio took pictures of the VIPs with a telephoto lens, then printed them out and insisted that each of the subjects pay between $50 and $200 for the pictures. The photographers allegedly warned their subjects that they would have to recoup their printing expenses by selling the images.

“They were arrested after coercing the photo subjects … into buying the photos that they had taken for a high price,” said Liv Sokhun, the director of Siem Reap’s provincial information department. “This act contradicts the professional ethics of a journalist.”

The reporters, Meas Daro, 26, from Kakti Bandit Khmer; Meas Theary, 30, from Cambodia For Peace and Heng Vandy, 28, from Freedom of Cambodia, had press cards from the Ministry of Information, but no bylines to speak of. The three organisations are reportedly based in Kandal province.

According to Sokhun, six photographers were also arrested on Monday evening for similar acts. All were given a warning and released after they thumbprinted an injunction against doing more of the same.

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