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Three briefly held over Kampot roadblock

The Kampot Provincial Court will continue to investigate three villagers and an NGO worker after they were arrested and released on Friday for allegedly setting up an illegal checkpoint to extort money from timber and firewood transporters in Kampot’s Chhouk district, according to officials.

If the court finds enough evidence, the men – aged between 31 and 40 – whose names weren’t disclosed, will be summoned for questioning again, said Ek Cheng Huot, Kampot provincial prosecutor.

“Setting [up] a checkpoint is illegal, but they were not charged yet,” Huot said.

The men were wearing T-shirts with the logo of an NGO called Wildlife, Forest, Fishery Preservation and Protection, said Sim Socheat, a Trapaing Phlaing commune police officer.

But only one of the men had an NGO identification card, and the other three were his friends. The NGO worker had an expired permit to patrol the area, Socheat said, adding that the man had applied for a new permit but hadn’t received it.

Sao Sam Oeun, provincial deputy police chief, said the court would continue to look into the case, but declined to elaborate on specific details.

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