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

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last