Stung Treng provincial Military Police arrested 15 Cambodian and Vietnamese nationals on July 24-25 in a raid on an illegal marble mining operation in O’Rai commune’s Anlong Svay village of Thala Barivat district and seized a large quantity of stone drilling equipment.

The raid was ordered by Sao Sokha, National Military Police Commander and chairman of the National Committee for Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes. The operation was led by Stung Treng Military Police commander Eang Vandy in coordination with provincial court deputy prosecutor Chea Sopheak.

A Military Police report said the mining operation had begun for two days in the village. The first seven arrests were made on July 24 while the miners were working at three locations. On July 25, a further eight arrests were made at the same place.

Provincial hall spokesman Men Kong confirmed to The Post on July 26 that the 15 suspects were arrested for conducting mining operations without a permit.

“The 15 have been sent to the provincial court for further action,” he said, adding the authorities were searching for more people involved in the case.

Sopheak confirmed on July 26 that the court prosecutor was still questioning the suspects.