Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mines Ministry alleges slander

Mines Ministry alleges slander

The Ministry of Mines and Energy has accused the operator of a soil digging site in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district (pictured) of defamation, a few weeks after he allegedly fired a gun into the ground to scare off inspectors. Fresh News
The Ministry of Mines and Energy has accused the operator of a soil digging site in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district (pictured) of defamation, a few weeks after he allegedly fired a gun into the ground to scare off inspectors. Fresh News

Mines Ministry alleges slander

The Ministry of Mines and Energy has accused a Kandal province businessman of defamation and operating an illegal digging site, a few weeks after he allegedly shot into the ground to scare off officials trying to inspect his land.

In its complaint to the Kandal Provincial Court, filed on Thursday, the ministry claims that Reurng Sam Arn, 49, defamed the ministry in an interview with Kampuchea Thmey newspaper on January 18.

In the interview, Sam Arn claimed that the officials came to the site looking to extort money.

“I did not shoot to scare them,” he was quoted as saying. “They came after I finished shooting. They came for tea money and I didn’t want to meet them. They are such dogs – if you don’t give them money, then they cause trouble like that.”

Sam Arn later added that he would have given the officials the money if he had had any on him.

Ministry spokesman Yos Monirath said yesterday that the ministry had yet to investigate Sam Arn’s extortion claims, but filed the complaint because “we cannot accept this . . . He insulted us.”

“We’re going to wait until we go to court for him to clarify and bring his evidence,” Monirath said.

The complaint does not mention the alleged shooting. Last month, authorities said they were searching for Sam Arn after he fired shots into the ground to scare off officials, and about 20 bullet casings were collected from the scene.

Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem, who signed the ministry’s complaint, claims that Sam Arn’s comments “insulted public servants”.

“Comparing the servants to animals affects the dignity of the officials,” the complaint reads. “It not only affects the officials, but the ministry as a whole.”

According to Sem, an inspection team went to check Sam Arn’s digging site in Sa’ang district’s Svay Ralum commune last month to inform him that he was breaking the law and that the operation was disturbing people living in the area.

After the ministry asked Sam Arn to stop the operation, he became angry and went to the media, the letter claims.

Sam Arn and his wife, Chan Mony, operated three unregistered digging sites and should both face charges under the mining law, according to the letter.

Tin Sochetra, spokesman at the Kandal Provincial Court, said the court had received the complaint and is investigating. “We will call all the relevant people, like the plaintiffs and defendants, for questioning soon,” he said.


  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon