The Apsara Authority and local police on Tuesday stopped a businessman who was digging up soil inside the Angkor temple complex’s protected area to sell it as construction material.
The businessman, Sreng Mora, was using an excavator to dig up the soil, Chan Thorn, an archaeology official with Apsara’s department of conservation, said in a statement.
Authorities confiscated the excavator and warned Mora that his actions were illegal before letting him go.
“Preserving heritage monuments and archaeological sites, history and ancient places is the duty of all citizens,” said Thorn, in the statement.
“Apsara Authority calls and encourages all states to join in the work of taking care of all of our ancestral cultural inheritance as a legacy to the next generation.”
Thorn and Apsara spokesman Long Kosal were not available for additional comments.
Mora said in an interview yesterday that he had quickly agreed to stop violating the integrity of the heritage site.
“I will not dig up ancient land to sell again,” said Mora. “After the Apsara Authority educated me, I know the benefits of our ancient land.”