Koh Kong provincial authorities have reclaimed 102ha of state-owned land in Tuol Koki Krom village of Mondul Seima district’s Tuol Koki commune which had been illegally occupied for more than one year.
According to a letter signed by provincial governor Mithona Phouthong January 14, all land ownership certificates for state land must be annulled.
The governor said the district and commune administrations must cooperate with all relevant departments and specialised units to maintain and protect the land.
Deputy provincial governor Sok Sothy told The Post on January 16 that the encroachment had taken place more than a year ago. The authorities had been educating people to relinquish it before confiscation was required.
“Sometimes, authorities signed the purchase agreements; sometimes the selling went on without paperwork. But actually, it is all state land and must be taken back,” he said.
Sothy said the encroachment was not on a large-scale and authorities were still working to identify the perpetrators.
“Of the 102ha, people had cleared some parts here and some parts there, so we couldn’t clearly identify any suspects. This decision is to avoid future confusion and to avoid anybody thinking that the land belongs to any individual,” he said.
In September last year, the provincial administration also issued a decision to confiscate more than 750,000sqm in Andong Teuk village and commune in Botum Sakor district as it was state-owned land.
It urged the district and commune administrations to cooperate to replant paperbark trees on the land and maintain it as state property.