The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development (NCCMD) is investigating a case involving an individual named Hour Hab, who allegedly filled 2km of beach with soil near Poy Chintung, Chroy Svay commune, Chroy Svay village, in Sre Ambel, Koh Kong province.
Ministry of Tourism under secretary of state and member of the NCCMD of the Bay Area, Ny Phally, who investigated the case two weeks ago, confirmed the allegation to The Post.
“A working group is continuing its investigation to release a report and forward it to the NCCMD for review and approval.
“My findings are that the individual has filled the beach with soil. However, verification of any relevant documentation for the filling is required to continue our investigation.
“A fishing community and an environmental protection community are also within the location, and we need to investigate whether they were involved as well.
“We must ascertain whether the soil moved here was done for private or public interests. Upon our arrival, we were presented with documents containing requests from the communities to the provincial administration regarding the land, so these also need to be investigated in connection with the case,” Phally said.
He also confirmed that Hab was being investigated for his involvement in the case and that he was identified at the site and wore a uniform with three stars.
“The communities claim that they have made requests regarding the soil dumping previously. The requests were concerning whether the soil could be dumped with permission.
“If there has been no permission given, then something is wrong,” he said.
Phally said all activities have been halted while awaiting a decision from the NCCMD. The investigation is due to be completed next week.
Hab, the environmental protection community and the fishing community could not be reached for comment.
Koh Kong provincial hall spokesman Sok Sothy told The Post on Monday that any filling-in of the sea was a separate incident that had occurred three years ago under the management of a former governor.
However, he also said that because the case was in the hands of the NCCMD, he would await its decision before commenting further.
“The land was filled in since before Mithona Phouthorng, who took office of the present governor.
“However, we welcome the move by the committee. We have also sent our reports on the case to the ministry and relevant institutions so that the police and the NCCMD can do their work,” he said.