A Vietnamese fisherman was arrested in Sihanoukville on September 17 for possessing 281 ancient vases he found at the bottom of the sea.
Le Vanghoun,42, was arrested by Military Police, and upon questioning, he told the police he found the artefacts under the sea in Koh Russey area in Commune III.
On Monday, provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts director But Bopha said: “He took these 281 vases from under the sea, but I do not know how he got the information that there are so many vases at the location.
“Authorities will check the history of these vases before deciding to keep them at the Preah Sihanouk provincial museum or send to a museum in Phnom Penh,” he said.
Vanghoun said he found all the vases in the same location, there were no objects in them, and that he did not buy them from another area. Officials said the vases came in small, average and large sizes.
Bopha said police initially assumed by the size and pattern that the vases were similar to a case authorities recently solved in Koh Kong province. Experts believe those vases dated to between the 15th and 17th centuries.
The Post could not contact Preah Sihanouk Military Police commander Heng Bunty for comment on Monday.
A report from the Preah Sihanouk provincial Military Police office on Monday said the suspect was arrested by police and officials from the provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts. He remains in custody.