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Arrest as drone flown near palace

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.
The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Arrest as drone flown near palace

A 38-year-old Taiwanese tourist was arrested and sent to the Ministry of Interior’s anti-cybercrime department on Sunday for taking aerial photographs of the Royal Palace with a drone, though it remained unclear whether he was still being held yesterday.

Chey Chumneah commune police chief Thon Kao Thhy identified the tourist as Tsao Cheng Hsiang, and confirmed the transfer, saying he didn’t expect Tsao was held for long.

“Normally when we arrest tourists using drones, we send them to the cybercrime department and they are released after two or three hours,” he said. “The cybercrime officials just check what is inside the drone and delete [the photos].”

The anti-cybercrime department could not be reached.

The unauthorised use of drones was banned by the city in 2015 after a tourist operating a drone above the Royal Palce allegedly captured Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk doing her daily exercises.

However, Kao Thhy conceded yesterday that authorities have done little to publicise the ban. “[Tourists] don’t know it is banned to use drones because we don’t put up any signs or announcements,” he said.

“We often catch tourists using drones.”

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