Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - High-profile arrest in land deal gone awry

High-profile arrest in land deal gone awry

High-profile arrest in land deal gone awry

Influential businesswoman You Chantha was arrested on Wednesday over allegations she cleared 17 hectares of land in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, defying a court order handed down as part of an ongoing land dispute.

“After her arrest, she was sent to the Ministry of Interior for questioning,” said district police chief Yim Sarann.

Chantha reportedly constructed buildings on the plot in Trapaing Krasaing commune’s Prey Daun Ouk village, despite an ongoing legal battle with the Chinese Hok Kien Association since 2007.

According to that organisation, the land is an ancient Chinese gravesite.

Captain Seng Sopheak, of the Interior Ministry’s penal police department, said Chantha began clearing the land in 2014, prompting the association’s vice-president, Seng Siheng, to petition Phnom Penh Municipal Court for an injunction.

The injunction was granted in December, but was apparently ignored by Chantha.

Chantha is known to have strong ties in the judiciary and to have been a close associate of disgraced former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov.

Pov was imprisoned in 2006 for more than 40 years on multiple charges, including involvement in attempted murders.

Prior to his arrest, Pov fled to Malaysia, claiming to have information about high-level corruption in Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the