About 60 animal slaughterhouse operators from Kampong Chhnang’s Rolea Ba’eir district yesterday protested what they claim is extortion by the provincial director of the veterinary department, the businessmen said yesterday.
The veterinary department director had allegedly forced the slaughterhouse owners to “donate” 450,000 riel (about US$112) each to receive their business licences ahead of Liberation Day celebrations this weekend.
“We will only donate this money if they issue a receipt for us,” Chhuo Yo, a pork seller said, adding there had been no orders from the provincial governor to cough up the cash. “If there is no receipt, what does that mean for our 450,000 riel?”
Veterinary department director Moeung Sarath told the Post he was simply following orders. “I am a lower level officer, if you want to know, please ask the provincial director of the agriculture department,” Moeung Sarath said.
Ngan Nany, provincial director of the agriculture department in Kampong Chhnang, said he was following the instructions of the provincial governor, who has asked for all people to donate money to charity for liberation day.
“Related to the businessmen who have to pay 450,00 riel each, please ask my deputy because I am busy in a meeting,” Ngan Nany said.
Touch Marin, Kampong Chhnang governor, confirmed he had asked businessmen in his province to donate money for Liberation Day celebrations.
“But I did not set up how much money, all people can provide money according to what they want,” Touch Marin said.