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Kampong Chhnang calls for more vigilance over fraudulence using state land

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The Kampong Chhnang Provincial Hall. Kampong Chhnang Administration

Kampong Chhnang calls for more vigilance over fraudulence using state land

Kampong Chhnang Provincial Administration has warned people not to be deceived by individuals trying to fraudulently sell state land. Those who have bought state land must show relevant documents to the State Property Management Unit to resolve any issues, otherwise they could be implicated in a conspiracy to sell state land.

A statement issued by the provincial administration on March 5 stated that in the past, an individual had used illegal documents to sell state land controlled by the provincial hall, located in Mong Barang village, Ba’er commune, Kampong Chhnang town.

“According to the documents collected, the perpetrators tricked people to buy shares in exchange for the land,” the letter said.

The letter added that a small number of people participated in the scam. For this reason, the Provincial State Land Management Committee urges people not to buy this land because it is state land being sold illegally and would result in a loss of money.

Mon Vutha, director of the finance office and state property management in Kampong Chhnang province said that in the past, the provincial administration had asked the government to transfer the provincial prison from the centre of the town to the outskirts, about 12km or 13km away, with the government’s approval in 2018. But an individual had been secretly selling its reserved land since 2015 without anyone knowing.

“Only later, when we were preparing the land property title, did we realise what had happened. According to a circular of the Royal Government, even state institutions must process land property titles too. There were complaints when we processed the title. It’s actually state land, but people complained to us, so we searched for relevant documents. We discovered there were irregular activities with one of our officials and the trader,” he said.

Vutha continued that after receiving permission from the government in 2018, an inter-ministerial commission was set up to evaluate the sale of land in accordance with the law and continued to implement the project until 2020. Then the official contract was signed to exchange land with the private party and provincial administration on 42 projects.

He said that once the conditions on the 42 projects are met, the provincial administration can decide to exchange three plots of land which includes one reserve plot, one prison land and one prison office within the 42 projects.

He added, however, the procedure has not been completed yet; the private party who got this work took the state reserve land of 4,351 square meters and split it to sell.

“It’s another mistake like the one we made in 2015 and we only just realised it. We have not yet completed the procedure in accordance with the law. He split the land for sale as an investment deal,” he said.

According to Vutha, in this case, the provincial administration filed a complaint with the judiciary for law enforcement.

“If they [the buyer of state land] do not present the documents and try to conceal it, they will be treated as a conspirator [selling state land]. But if they take documents to the authorities, they will be cooperating with authorities to take care of state land,” he said.

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