Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chief held over land grab



Chief held over land grab

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The men are accused of trying to grab land in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary. National Police

Chief held over land grab

Pursat provincial police are questioning two men, including a village chief, for allegedly forging public documents to clear and grab over 37ha in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary.

The director of the provincial Department of Environment, Pan Morokort, said on Thursday that the village chief in Pramuoy commune is 69-years-old and his accomplice, 33. He did not provide their names.

He said provincial governor Mao Thonin ordered authorities to investigate the case and when local and provincial authorities were looking into the accusations, they discovered the forged documents in Pramuoy village.

Police arrested the suspects on Monday as they were using machinery to clear the land and make documents in an attempt to sell it to others, he said.

The suspects, Thonin said, were taken to the provincial police station for questioning. Meanwhile, the authorities are continuing to hunt down other suspects linked to the case, he said.

“They had not cleared all the land yet when we got information about the crime, found the fake documents and took action. We believe that other people are linked to the case. We are collecting more evidence to send them to the court too,” he said.

Pramuoy commune chief Sek Sam Ath could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc Sam Chankea said he was aware of the case and supported the measures taken by the authorities.

He said both state and private land was at risk of being stolen through document-forging schemes. Such cases lead to complicated land disputes, he noted.

“We must strengthen law enforcement and take firm legal action against the suspects, especially the village chief as he has power and he used it to commit the crime. Sometimes, someone more powerful is behind him, so he showed no respect for the law.

“For ordinary people who are involved in land grabs, they are mostly cheated into doing so. Or, they don’t have land, so they grab it, but authorities should educate them or grant them social land concessions,” Chankea said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he