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National commitee probes gold mining operations in Kratie

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Officials inspect an illegal​ ​​​mine operation in Kratie province. The Cambodia Time

National commitee probes gold mining operations in Kratie

The National Committee for Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes targeted an illegal gold mining operation in Kratie, marking the fourth such investigation in the area within a week.

Kratie deputy district governor Khan Chamnan, who also heads the committee, told The Post on Thursday that in early rainy season gold mining offences increase.

“On Thursday last week, I led joint forces to investigate four gold mining businesses in O’ Rolong area at Svay Chreah commune, in Snuol district. We detained three owners and built a court case,” Chamnan said.

With those gold mines shut down, he said the authorities bulldozed a pit used for illegal gold extraction. They then found seven other mining operations in the O’Tron area.

“The locations of the gold mining businesses in O’ Tron are old pits that are no longer used. The residents in this area have been digging for underground mines and using a type of acid to remove some metal mixtures from the gold.

“It is still illegal because those pits are owned by the Xing Yuan Kanng Yeak Co Ltd, which received a licence from the government to mine gold,” said Chamnan.

Roth Sola, the Kratie provincial deputy director for the department of mines and energy, told The Post that he has already sent the complaint file to the Kratie provincial prosecutor.

The court charged the three men involved in the O’ Salong case on Tuesday for operating a mining business without permission from the authorities. They are being held in pre-trial detention, Sola said.

The men are Lach Kimheng, Lach Kimhorng and Eoeu Seng from the Svay Chreah commune, Snuol district. The mining pits were dug secretly at a location licensed to Rithy Granite (Cambodia) Co. Ltd.

Kratie provincial court spokesperson Chea Sopheak told The Post that the court is investigating the illegal mining case in O’ Trot. But in this case, no one was detained while committing the offences and the suspects are suspected of being migrants.

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