Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal Ratanakkiri gem mine raided

Illegal Ratanakkiri gem mine raided

Illegal Ratanakkiri gem mine raided

District and military police in Ratanakkiri raided an illegal gem mine inside a Chinese company’s land concession on Saturday but failed to make any arrests, according to a rights group representative.

Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said about 200 illegal gem miners had settled on an old rubber plantation granted to the Swift Rubber Company in Laminh commune’s Trum village.

“The miners set up more than 100 camps at the plantation, where they used devices such as iron bars, logs, wood, strings and baskets for illegal and haphazard mining,” he said.

Mao Sun, Bakeo district police chief, confirmed that no one was arrested in the raid.

“When they saw our forces, they just ran into the forest,” he said, adding that Swift Rubber had requested that police evict the miners. “They are Cambodian people who often search the mine to support their families.”

Chhay Thy said it was unclear for whom the workers were illegally extracting the gems.

“Collusion may have been behind this case; otherwise, hundreds of miners would not have been able to work the company land. We asked the miners, and they said they dug for their boss, but they did not say who their boss is,” he said.

Adhoc is investigating a dispute between Swift Rubber and 120 families in Ratanakkiri’s O’Chum district, who claim they are being evicted without compensation from the firm’s 3,000-hectare concession.

A Swift Rubber representative – who could not be reached yesterday – said in May that the families are living illegally on company property.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a