Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kampong Thom official grilled, ‘accomplice’ charged over canal restoration



Kampong Thom official grilled, ‘accomplice’ charged over canal restoration

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Kampong Thom Provincial Hall’s head of Inter-sectoral Bureau Mao Bunthou is under investigation by the provincial court over a number of crimes. Facebook

Kampong Thom official grilled, ‘accomplice’ charged over canal restoration

The Kampong Thom Provincial Hall’s head of Inter-sectoral Bureau Mao Bunthou is under investigation by the provincial court over a number of crimes including illegal confinement, intimidation and illegal interference in the performance of public functions.

Provincial court deputy prosecutor Say Veasna told The Post on Tuesday he had referred Bunthou’s case to Investigating Judge Phoung Vann on August 26.

“The judge is investigating whether Bunthou is involved and who is else involved,” Veasna said.

He said one of Bunthou’s alleged accomplices, Ouch Vannarith, was arrested and placed in pre-trial detention on August 26 on charges of “illegal arrest and confinement, intimidation and illegal interference in the performance of public functions”.

The two and their accomplices allegedly took a man named Nhoem Mol while he was delivering rice to a tractor driver excavating a canal at the Boeung Phkor Lorn area in Stung Sen town’s Srayov commune. The suspects then went on to arrest Chhut Than and Yuk Kutt, who were also tractor drivers. They confiscated two tractors, a motorbike and two mobile phones.

However, in their confiscation report to the provincial Fisheries Administration, only two tractors were listed. No other evidence was recorded in the report.

According to the court’s arrest warrant for Vannarith, the evidence showed that Mol, Than and Kutt were not excavating canals illegally. The three were detained for two days without reason, it said.

The tractors operated by Kutt and Than belonged to the BVB company and not digging on land owned by others. The team hired to restore the canal was approved by Stung Sen town governor Mak Bunhong, provincial Water Resource and Meteorology Department director You La, and provincial governor Sok Lou in accordance with the laws, the warrant states.

“The actions of Ouch Vannarith and Mao Bunthou were illegal,” it said.

The three detained men could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

La, the water resource department director, said on Monday the three victims had indeed asked for a permit and approval from officials. He said he did not know Bunthou’s group arrested and detained them without giving a clear reason.

La said the Boeung Phkor Lorn canal was planned for restoration by the people and the authorities because it is old and cannot store water for use in the dry season.

The BVB Company has applied for the right to restore the canal free of charge, and has so far restored just 100m of the more than 1,000m canal.

“I do not know how the court will deal with Bunthou or Vannarith, but just know that the three victims legally asked for permission,” La said. “

Bunthou could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there