Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Journos’ accused of shakedown

‘Journos’ accused of shakedown

Four journalists arrested in Oddar Meanchey province for blackmailing a wood businessman on Saturday. Photo supplied.
Four journalists arrested in Oddar Meanchey province for blackmailing a wood businessman on Saturday. Photo supplied.

‘Journos’ accused of shakedown

Four men, three of whom claimed to be journalists, were arrested on Saturday in Oddar Meanchey’s Trapaing Prasat district for allegedly extorting a local businessman for 2.5 million riel, about $625, according to provincial court prosecutor Koy Kanya.

“According to police, the six suspects used old photos to threaten the victim because he used to [be a wood trader],” said Kanya. The suspects left in two cars after dividing the money and were subsequently arrested after the victim, Nov San, filed a complaint with police.

Three of the four arrested said they were worked for small local newspapers: Pav Tit Narong, 32, for Khmer Mchas Srok; Sor Thuch, 41, for Koh Pich; and Sing Sam Ley, 40, editor of Vimean Ekareach. The fourth man, Soeun San, 28, is not a journalist. Police found about half of the allegedly extorted sum.

Leuk Sokha, provincial criminal police chief, could not be reached for comment, but Kanya said none of the four had yet been to court, though they were likely to be charged.

Khmer Mchas Srok editor-in-chief Hang Chakra yesterday said Tit Naroung had previously freelanced for them but claimed his press card had expired, and they had not heard from him for months.

“I request the court and the police to investigate the wood business, too. If the business is legal, why were they afraid of being reported [in the news]?” he said.

Ouk Kimseng, Ministry of Information spokesperson, said he had not received information on the case. He added that the ministry could not do anything in a criminal case.

The Post has reported on numerous cases of alleged extortion involving self-identified journalists who work for little-known or rarely published papers.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon