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KRP chief preparing land grab appeal

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Khmer Rise Party president, Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung, is preparing a request for Prime Minister Hun Sen to review the cases of 224 families who bought plots of land in Kandal province. William Guang’s Facebook page

KRP chief preparing land grab appeal

The president of the Khmer Rise Party, Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung is preparing a request for Prime Minister Hun Sen to review the cases of 224 families who claim irregularities after buying plots of land in Kandal province from Bun Chan Krishna’s JameCam Company.

Vathana Sabung, who is a member of the Supreme Consultation Council, told The Post on Monday that the 224 families came to him claiming they had bought plots of land in Kandal province from the company.

They said they had their transfers of land ownership processed properly and recognised by local authorities and a representative of the company. However, others later claimed to have hard titles and erected fences around the land.

“I will file a complaint with the prime minister next week because I cannot prepare it in time for a meeting of the Supreme Consultation Council on Tuesday. I will raise the matter with him at the meeting,” he said.

The information he had received from most of the buyers was still limited, he said, and he could not at this point allege that the company had cheated them.

However, he was aware that the complainants had bought land because the company had announced that it carried hard titles recognised by the authorities, Vathana Sabung said.

“They trusted the company because the land was advertised with the proper transfer of ownership as recognised by the local authorities and all ownership titles were stamped.

“However, we do not know for sure the internal affairs of the company. Is there anyone encroaching on the company’s land or was the company promising the earth when selling it?

“But just as importantly, the land involved others who erected fences and said they had hard titles. If the land already had hard titles, why did the authorities allow the complainants to buy it from the company?” he asked.

Vathana Sabung said he received complaints from the families last Saturday saying that buying the land had cost nearly $1 million.

According to them, in 2008, the company had announced the sale of more than 200ha of land plots in Kandal Stung district’s Kandork commune and Sa’ang district’s Roka Khpos commune.

According to the contract of sale stamped and signed by the authorities, a plot of land measuring 5m by 20m sold for $1,600.

A Phnom Penh teacher who asked not to be named told The Post that he had bought four plots of land from the company in 2008 to be paid off in instalments. The teacher said he had inspected the land directly before buying it.

He said he found the land guarded on inspecting it as usual in 2010. The guard claimed the land belonged to someone in possession of a proper title. On asking the authorities, they offered no explanation and referred him to the provincial governor, he said.

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