Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local used as ‘patsy’ in illegal state land sale

Local used as ‘patsy’ in illegal state land sale

Local used as ‘patsy’ in illegal state land sale

A Koh Kong agriculture department official was demoted and a land management official is under investigation for using an unwitting woman’s identity to forge documents and sell state-owned land for $300,000.

The province’s director for the agriculture department, Meas Sopheap, was demoted in June following an investigation by the ministry. During the course of the investigation, it was found that Hak Bora, a land official in the town, had allegedly colluded with Sopheap to sell the land, said In Kongchit, Licadho’s provincial coordinator.

“There was systematic collusion between the two or else this could not have been done,” Kongchit said yesterday.

He added that the two officials needed to be sent to court for allegedly tricking Khemarak Pumin town resident Kem La – who is illiterate – into signing documents that she thought was an application for a land title, but was actually a sale contract for a 60-by-40-metre piece of state land along National Road 48.

“The perpetrators must be brought to justice and the land has to be seized back as state property,” he said.

La, the victim, filed a complaint in June with rights group Licadho after local authorities inquired about her sale of state-owned land to a Phnom Penh buyer last year.

“I do not have that land and I know nothing,” she said. “I am afraid that in the future I will be ordered to pay money for the land.”

La has filed complaints with town officials and the provincial department for land management, with the latter initiating an investigation into Bora, Kongchit said.

An official with the provincial land department declined to comment yesterday, and others could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four