Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man to face court over Koh Kong land

Man to face court over Koh Kong land

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Koh Kong deputy provincial governor Sok Sothy. Ministry of Interior

Man to face court over Koh Kong land

The Koh Kong Provincial Administration is building a case against a man who allegedly forged documents claiming to represent nearly 1,000 families making requests to clear land in conservation and nature reserve areas in Koh Kong and Botum Sakor districts.

The move came after provincial deputy governor Sok Sothy called a meeting on June 4 regarding the claims made by Mey Chit, who had sought registration and certification for over 3,000ha supposedly on the families’ behalf.

Sothy said the provincial authorities had rejected the request, saying Chit was not actually authorised to represent anyone.

“This is just an individual who used people’s names without permission to claim to be their representative in order to request allocation of state land for private ownership. But this person has no documents of authorisation and no residents in the province have requested land title through him either,” he said.

Sothy said anyone requesting a land title or land allocation must apply to the provincial administration or through the village and commune authorities. The provincial hall will then follow procedures to inspect and prepare the land registration for them according to the law.

“Chit’s action is fraudulent. He is falsifying documents, stamps and people’s medals to make illegitimate requests to Prime Minister [Hun Sen], his cabinet and the provincial administration for land. When we checked the documents [we could see that] this person was a scammer,” he said.

Sothy added that the provincial administration is currently preparing a case file to submit to the provincial court to investigate and prosecute Chit for fraud.

According to Sothy, Chit does not live in Koh Kong but actually hailed from Battambang province. He said the over 60 thumbprints that Chit had attached to his requests are not those of residents in Koh Kong province either.

During the meeting, Chit claimed that he represented 298 families trying to register land and obtain certification for more than 2,800ha in Koh Kong district.

Chit also claimed to represent 674 families in Botum Sakor district seeking more than 600ha.

However, after Sothy asked the commune chief and a deputy district governor who attended the meeting whether they knew Chit and could verify that he represented people in their commune and district, they said they had never heard of him.

The Post was unable to obtain contact information for Chit on June 6.

Koh Kong provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc Thong Chandara said he knew the community representatives in that area, but he did not know Chit.

“After the government issued Sub-Decree No 30, which handed over the land to the provincial administration for management, opportunists who pretended to be people’s representatives came to request thousands of hectares of land for ownership.

“I know all of the people’s representatives for all of the communes. We are worried that all of the land will fall into the hands of those who are committing fraud and the residents will end up without any,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of