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Tuol Kork families say thumbprints ill-gotten

Nearly 20 families living in the capital’s Tuol Kork district yesterday accused local authorities of misleading some residents into thumbprinting documents agreeing to have their homes dismantled.

Ma Lin, a 56-year-old representative of 17 families living along street 347 in Boeung Kak I commune’s village 3, told the Post that officials had threatened to bulldoze their houses if they did not accept US$743 and houses on six by 12 metre plots of land in Kandal province.

She added that last month, village and district authorities had asked her to thumbprint a document that included the names of her family members, which officials claimed was a demographic census for 2012.

“Many villagers ... thumbprinted the document without reading its content clearly,” Ma Lin said, adding that 12 families had thumbprinted a document stating they were living on the roadside temporarily and agreeing to dismantle their houses if required.

Commune chief Vet Darith yesterday denied that officials had deceived the villagers.

“There is not any relocation of the villagers by eviction, though they live on the public road side,” he said.

He added that more than 130 families who lived along Street 347 before municipal authorities expanded it in 2007 had already accepted compensation.

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