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Suspected land scam artists sent to court

Eight huts were torn down and about 50 families were ordered to vacate land yesterday in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district as the couple whom police said illegally sold them the plots was arrested and sent to court.

Police said the suspects, 51-year-old Yorn Yon and his wife Vanny, 45, were picked up for charging between $400 to $500 per family for 3-hectare plots on the Pacific Rubber Plantation’s concession.

“Authorities have been searching for [the couple] for two years,” said Khlot Vuthear, the district’s deputy police chief, adding that the duo was also responsible for tricking over 200 families into clearing land on the concession.

About 50 allegedly cheated villagers from seven different provinces worked with authorities to locate the suspects, Vuthear said.

Provincial Governor Eng Bunheng said yesterday that locals should have checked documents with local authorities.

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