The Siem Reap Provincial Court on Friday placed a local Cambodia National Rescue Party official in pre-trial detention for sand mining without a licence in Angkor Chum district’s Tasom commune.
Provincial court spokesman Yin Sreang said Thon Thoeuth, a deputy on the CNRP commune executive committee and a candidate for the upcoming commune elections, was placed in pre-trial detention on Friday.
“We don’t know about his political affairs,” Sreang said. “The court implemented the court procedure and detained him in regard to sand dredging.”
Sok Kimseng, a CNRP provincial executive committee member, said Thoeuth was the party’s top candidate for the commune.
He said the official, whose family sells sand extracted from their own property, was not the only person running such a business in the area. He noted that Thoeuth had recently been told by local ruling party officials to stop his activities for the CNRP after buying a propaganda poster to prepare for the upcoming campaign.
“This is politically motivated, and this is a threat against opposition politicians and activists before elections in 2017 and 2018,” Kimseng said. “This shows the competition is not fair.”
Varin district police chief Nup Sarak said his officers had carried out a warrant issued by the court on Thursday.
“We arrested him after the court issued an arrest warrant related to sand dredging and mining without permission or a licence,” Sarak said.
“It has nothing to do with politics.”