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

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Cambodian women diving deep, going far

    There is a saying in Khmer that “women cannot dive deep or go far”. The meaning is that women should not stray too far from their traditional gender roles. But when Menno de Block, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands, took a good look around his