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Fake News: AC repairman nabbed, TVFB shut down

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An air conditioner repairman in Preah Sihanouk province was arrested after he tried and failed to get his ex-wife arrested for posting fake news. POLICE

Fake News: AC repairman nabbed, TVFB shut down

An air conditioner repairman in Preah Sihanouk province was arrested after he tried and failed to get his ex-wife arrested for posting fake news.

Instead, it was he who was arrested for posting Facebook messages threatening to kill the country’s leaders, inciting discrimination and insulting the King.

Deputy provincial police chief Huot Sothy, who is in charge of the security plan of the Siem Reap provincial police commissariat, told The Post on Wednesday that the suspect, Arth Eng, 36, worked as an electrician and air conditioner repairman.

He lives in Tuol village, Teuk La’ak commune, Prey Nop district, Preah Sihanouk province.

“Eng posted messages and photos threatening to kill the leaders, inciting discrimination and insulting the King and other public and private institutions in Cambodia via Facebook and TikTok by using names and pictures of his ex-wife in all social networking accounts,” he said.

Sothy said Eng used two Facebook accounts, namely Traing Sela Angkor Thom Phum Prasat and the name, Sela Siem Reap or Sela Prasat. His TikTok’s account name is Sela Siem Reap.

When questioned, Sothy said Eng confessed that he used the names and photos of his ex-wife on Facebook and TikTok accounts out of spite to mislead the police and have her jailed.

Sothy said after the questioning was completed on Wednesday evening, Eng was sent to Siem Reap Provincial Court for legal action.

He has been charged on three counts – attempted murder, instigating discrimination and insulting the monarchy. However, on Wednesday evening, a Siem Reap provincial court judge ordered Eng to be returned to the Siem Reap police headquarters for further questioning on Thursday morning.

Separately, Phnom Penh municipal police on Tuesday arrested Sovann Rithy, the director-general of news station TVFB in connection with the dissemination of critical information.

Under the country’s fake news purge, incitement has a detrimental impact on security, social order and social security around government measures to prevent Covid-19.

A Phnom Penh municipal police Facebook post said Rithy ‘s arrest was made due to a confession and clarification from a woman named El Srey Neang, 22, an employee of TVFB News 24h and based on evidence of a six-minute and 54-second video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page.

However, Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor and spokesman Kuch Kimlong, said the case was still pending on Tuesday because the process of inquiry had not finished yet.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith also on Tuesday announced the cancellation of all TVFB media licences because it had spread provocative information to undermine security, social order and social security.

In the statement, Kanharith said: “The Ministry of Information withdraws the licence that permits Sovann Sokha to operate the website www.tvfb.com.kh, www.fbtv.news and TVFB Media Centre because the licence holder has promoted information that is detrimental to the security, social order and social security.”

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