Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nine held in connection with cockfighting, gambling ring

Nine held in connection with cockfighting, gambling ring

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Live gamecocks, mobile phones and gambling equipment are among the seized evidence. National police

Nine held in connection with cockfighting, gambling ring

Nine people, including four local media reporters, who were arrested on Sunday for their alleged involvement in an illegal gambling ring in the capital’s Mean Chey district would be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday, district police chief Meng Vimeandara said.

Police on Sunday launched a clampdown on a cockfighting ring in Stung Meanchey II commune where nine people were arrested and evidence impounded.

“This is the first time that we have arrested people for their involvement in cockfighting and craps games,” Vimeandara told The Post on Monday.

Four out of nine suspects who were netted amid the crackdown were identified as reporters for the Piphup Thmey, Virak Senchey, and Khmer Power newspapers, as well as one unidentified local news outlet. They were 36, 53, 29 and 48 years old, respectively.

The other five suspects were aged 38, 37, 62, 48, and 45, Vimeandara said.

Three gamecocks, one bowl for dice spinning, two iron spurs, 11 old mobile phones, 870,000 riel ($213) in cash and four motorbikes were impounded during the raid.

Police deemed the operation difficult, Vimendara said, as the gambling location was hidden in a grove and watchful “agents” were standing by at the entrance to the site.

Club of Cambodian Journalists president Pen Bona said arresting the journalists was acceptable if the suspects had truly been involved in illicit activities.

He said if the reporters had accepted a bribe from the ring masterminds in exchange for not reporting the illegal events, then they were in collusion.

“I am constantly worried about this [collusion by journalists], but I also often told them to follow the ethics of journalism . . . Some people had no awareness of it whatsoever. As a result, many of them were arrested for extortion,” Bona said.

Vimeandara said the nine suspects were currently detained at the district headquarters and that the case files were being prepared “in accordance with the law”.

Though cockfighting was officially banned in 2009, it remains a common past-time in the Kingdom, with participants lured by the excitement, cash and glory.

Cockfighting has a long tradition in Cambodia, dating to before the time of Jayavarman VII. Carvings on the wall of the 12th-century Bayon temple depict a scene that wouldn’t be out of place today – two groups of men jostling for a better view as two handlers square their birds off in a ring.

MOST VIEWED

  • Website advises travellers to stay clear of Angkor Wat

    An Australian website has advised travellers to avoid Angkor Wat during their trip to Southeast Asia because the ancient temple is showing signs of rapid erosion and faced water management issues. In a recent article entitled Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Passenger taxi boat ridership sinks despite free services

    Passenger taxi boat traffic has dropped by about five per cent compared to the same period last year, despite the government providing free service for garment workers until next year, Phnom Penh Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority director Ean Sokhim said on Monday. In 2018, the Phnom

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Shipments of mango to South Korea poised to begin this week

    Exports of Cambodian mangoes to South Korea will begin this week after Korean authorities gave the nod. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Department of Plant Protection, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Requirements director Ker Monthivuth told The Post on Sunday that after several inspections of

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that