Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Dealers’ in fake artefacts busted



‘Dealers’ in fake artefacts busted

Three men sit in the shade after they were arrested in Kampong Thom province yesterday for attempted fraud.
Three men sit in the shade after they were arrested in Kampong Thom province yesterday for attempted fraud. National Police

‘Dealers’ in fake artefacts busted

Three alleged fake artefact traders were arrested yesterday in Kampong Thom accused of trying to sell faux ancient statues to undercover police.

Ith Sothea, the provincial prosecutor, sent the undercover police to meet the traders – identified as Hieth, 46, Nhien Nhil, 47, and Narith, 31 – after receiving a tip-off about their activities.

Rom Sovichea, chief of the provincial heritage protection office, said the men had attempted to sell seven statues to the officers for $10,000.

“They made an appointment to meet and they were arrested by the officers, led by the prosecutor,” he said.

Two of the traders were from Kampong Thom’s Sandan district, while Narith was from Kampong Speu, he added.

After inspection by experts from the Ministry of Fine Arts, the statues were determined to be forgeries.

“They were not ancient statues; it was a fraud. The suspects confessed to buying them in Preah Vihear. We’re not sure if they knew they were fake or not,” Sovichea said.

Narith was a known artefact trader, he added, and the sting operation had created several new leads which police are pursuing.

Say Nora, the deputy provincial prosecutor, said the suspects will be put into the custody of the Kampong Thom court system until a date for a court hearing is set.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and