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

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the