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Smuggling Claim: Journalists accused of extortion

Smuggling Claim
THREE journalists have been arrested in Kampong Cham province after they were accused of blackmailing a pig vendor and trying to grab a weapon from a policeman, officials said yesterday.

Provincial Police Chief Nuon Samin said the three journalists tried to extort money from the pig vendor Sunday, a move that led to a confrontation with police. “We took measures against the journalists after we received a complaint from the pig vendor of blackmail and trying to grab a weapon from police,” Nuon Samin said.

But Chan Sorphorn, chairman of Kampong Cham’s Watch on Cambodia Association, a journalists’ group, accused police of conspiring with the pig vendor to set up the journalists.

He said the three accused were assigned to cover a story about cross-border pig smuggling in Memot district. “A pig vendor promised to give 15,000 riels (about US$3.50) for not taking photos and writing stories, but the journalists asked for 30,000 riels,” Chan Sorphorn said. The journalists were arrested on Tuesday.

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