The National Authority for Land Dispute Resolution and Battambang provincial authorities will launch an investigation on Monday into an ongoing land dispute between tycoon Lim Tealeng and Chan Hoeu in Kors Kralor district’s Preah Phos commune following an order from Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The investigation was ordered after Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung, president of the Khmer Rise Party (KRP) and a prominent member of the Supreme Consultation Forum, wrote to Hun Sen, alleging that the dispute was made up to detain Hoeu and villagers involved in the dispute.
A press release issued by the National Authority for Land Dispute Resolution said before Kors Kralor district was formed, the land belonged to Military Region 5.
When the district was formed with various administrative offices built, the military provided 600ha of the land to Tealeng, who holds the honorific oknha, in exchange for fuel supplies to develop the area.
The dispute broke out when Hoeu filed a complaint to the relevant authorities demanding 159ha from Tealeng. Hoeu claimed to have bought the land from villagers between 1997 and 2000.
The tycoon then filed a criminal lawsuit against Hoeu after she allegedly used two makeshift tractors to clear his crops and used force to threaten his cassava workers.
The press release said the land dispute was resolved by a Battambang provincial committee in 2014 when Hoeu agreed to receive 23ha from Tealeng. But Hoeu later changed her mind and filed a complaint to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.
Battambang provincial authorities then measured the disputed land and found out that the land in question overlapped with Tealeng’s and other villagers’ land.
But provincial authorities claimed Hoeu never showed up when summoned for clarification over the land dispute.
Hoeu, who has since been imprisoned in relation to the criminal lawsuit, told The Post that Tealeng, who she said is a three-star military general, always used armed forces and his bodyguards to intimidate her family.
The tycoon could not be reached for comment.
Battambang provincial governor Nguon Ratanak denied the authorities colluded with the tycoon to detain Hoeu.