Meanchey district police in Phnom Penh interrogated a group of 30 suspects, including 13 journalists, on Monday who are accused of gambling and organising cockfights.

The group was first arrested on Sunday in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district in Stung Meanchey III commune’s Damnak Thom 3 village after residents informed police of the activity.

District police chief Meng Vimeandara said on Monday that the suspects would be questioned before they were sent to court.

“I have not sent them to court, but I am preparing the case according to procedure,” he said.

A commune police officer who declined to be named confirmed that the arrest was related to cockfighting and gambling on a plot of land in Damnak Thom 3 village.

In addition to the arrest of the suspects, authorities seized five roosters, two of which were dead, a scale for weighing roosters, 20 old mobile phones, three motorcycles and several press passes, the officer said.

Ministry of Information spokesman Phos Sovann said on Monday that most of the journalists held passes licensed by the ministry, while some were issued by media outlets.

“[It’s] a mistake. We can call their boss to warn them or, if the police accuse them, suspend their work. But if one day, they correct their mistake, we can also forgive them,” he said.