Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Former justice official busted for land crimes



Former justice official busted for land crimes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former justice ministry under-secretary of state Seng Sovannara is accused of encroaching on 1,000ha of state land in Mondulkiri. Facebook

Former justice official busted for land crimes

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating judge has issued temporary detention warrants for former Ministry of Justice under-secretary of state Seng Sovannara and three accomplices. They were arrested by National Police on Friday.

The men are alleged to have encroached on 1,000ha of state land in Mondulkiri province.

Court prosecutor Kuch Kimlong identified Sovannara’s accomplices as Van Sothear, 36, Po Choy, 34 and Sin Po, 59. The three are farmers in Nang Khylek commune’s Koh Myeul Leu village in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district.

The arrests were made after the men were summoned to answer questions about involvement in the land encroachment.

“Following their questioning on June 27, court prosecutor Seng Heang charged Sovannara and each accomplice with four counts of fraud, encroaching on state property, threatening residents not to file a complaint and illegal possession of weapons.

“Heang issued temporary detention warrants for them to be held in prison, pending a hearing,” Kimlong said.

According to the four counts, Sovannara and his accomplices could be jailed at least five years if found to have committed the crimes as accused.

In aggravating fraud they can face a prison sentence of two to five years under Article 379 of the Criminal Code. The threat also carries a prison sentence of two to five years and a fine of four to 10 million riel ($988 to $2,471) under Article 607 of the Criminal Code.

Illegal possession of weapons carries a prison sentence of six months to three years and a fine of one to six million riel under Article 490 of the Criminal Code.

Encroaching on or affecting state property carries a prison sentence of two to five years and/or a fine of three to 30 million riel under Article of 262 of the Land Law.

It’s not the first time Sovannara has found himself in hot water over the 1,000ha. Interior Minister Sar Kheng removed him from office last year for the alleged crime.

And, King Norodom Sihamoni issued a royal decree ending his tenure as the under-secretary of state at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • One million Chinese Covid-19 jabs to start rolling in from February

    The government has confirmed that Covid-19 vaccines from China are set to begin arriving in Cambodia by February. This came as the Ministry of Health recorded two imported cases of Covid-19 on January 18. While calling on people to remain vigilant against the pandemic, ministry spokeswoman