Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cop’s dredging outfit closed

Cop’s dredging outfit closed

Officials shut down illegal sand-dredging activities in Prey Veng’s Peamro district yesterday. Photo supplied
Officials shut down illegal sand-dredging activities in Prey Veng’s Peamro district yesterday. Photo supplied

Cop’s dredging outfit closed

Following several warnings, officials in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district yesterday shuttered an illegal sand-dredging operation being run by a provincial police officer.

Chum Chea, Prek Khsay Khor commune chief, said more than 10 officers on Wednesday halted the operation and confiscated machinery, with the operation officially closed yesterday morning after a meeting was convened to address the ongoing illegal activity.

Chea identified the owner of the sand-dredging site, who also was operating an illegal sand depot, as policeman Ou Ratana. Ratana was invited to yesterday’s meeting, but failed to show up.

“He did not attend the meeting, so we practice our law to close [the site],” Chea said.

Ratana began the illegal dredging on November 24.

Seng Ponlork, Peamro district police chief, said during Wednesday’s crackdown, authorities confiscated a boat, an excavator and other equipment. In two visits last month, authorities asked Ratana to seek permission to operate legally, and made him sign two contracts saying he would, Ponlork said.

“But he still violated the two contracts,” he added.

Contact information for Ratana could not be found, but a video of Wednesday’s crackdown shows him getting into a heated argument with Ponlork, who tells him that as a policeman he should have a better understanding of police discipline. Ratana responds by saying he hadn’t been aware he was in the wrong.

“I try to run the business and you come and halt [it] like this,” he says in the video. “I am preparing to ask for permission. I stored [sand] there, and that does not affect anything.”

Chea Kakada, of the Prey Veng provincial Department of Mines and Energy, declined to comment, and the Ministry of Mines and Energy didn’t respond to a request for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied