Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Alleged grave robber arrested near temple



Alleged grave robber arrested near temple

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Leurng Lea was arrested for digging artefacts in Banteay Chmar Temple in Banteay Meanchey province yesterday. Photo supplied.

Alleged grave robber arrested near temple

A man was arrested last week for digging up an ancient gravesite located about 10 kilometres from Banteay Chhmar Temple in Banteay Meanchey province’s Thma Puok district, police said yesterday.

According to Tap Saom, Banteay Chhmar’s heritage police chief, Leurng Lea, 48, was caught while exhuming the ancient grave, while two other grave-diggers at the scene evaded arrest.

“If the court issues arrest warrants for the other two, we will take action, but for now we have sent only one offender to court on January 12,” he said. “He could be imprisoned from five months to five years under Article 63 of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage.”

Ancient graves sometimes contain ancient artefacts or precious jewellery. Though considered national cultural property, they are attractive targets for would-be antiquities thieves, and many Cambodian artefacts have turned up for sale on the international market in recent years.

Saom noted that the prospective grave robbers were prepared to camp overnight at the site. “When the police arrived, they had already dug up 1 metre; they could have reached the grave if they had dug up to 3 metres … Since 2010, four such cases have been taken to court.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and