Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials hunt brokers inciting Kratie landgrab

Officials hunt brokers inciting Kratie landgrab

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Officials are hunting brokers who have allegedly mobilised locals to encroach on land in Sambor district’s Kampong Cham commune. Interior Ministry

Officials hunt brokers inciting Kratie landgrab

Kratie provincial deputy governor Kong Kimny is urging officials to identify brokers who have allegedly mobilised locals to encroach on land belonging to the CHPB Development Co Ltd in Sambor district’s Kampong Cham commune.

The call came after the company sought intervention.

Kimny told The Post on October 25 that some state land has also been grabbed for private ownership.

He said the brokers had told people the government would allocate land to those who came to live on it, prompting them to build sheds and cottages on the land to mark their territory.

He said they had also planted banana, coconut and mango trees and other crops on the land.

“I don’t remember the number of [people] who have encroached on the land. But I urge them to respect the law. If they lack land they should apply for [social] land concessions in person. We will consider granting land to them as we have done before. We have allocated land to several poor families already,” he said.

Kampong Cham commune chief Chhit Norn said on October 25 he had already received instructions from the higher-ups to inform people about the law. He said some of them are migrants who believed the broker.

“The ringleaders incited the people secretly and galvanised them to grab the company’s land. Later, they asked local officials to recognise land occupation rights for them,” he said.

He added the people behind this are not poor and do not lack land.

“They grab state land to sell,” he said.

Norn said the company has 12,190ha for growing rubber. A large chunk of the land is being cleared.

The company’s representative, Chea Chamroeun, said on October 25 the authorities inspected the site after the firm requested relevant authorities to put an end to the encroachment.

He said police had intervened and urged local officials to spread the word that people are prohibited from clearing the land.

“We don’t use tough measures against them. We just prohibit them or inform them. We don’t use violence, but they wouldn’t listen to us. So we asked authorities to intervene in the case because a large chunk of the company’s land was grabbed for private ownership,” he said.

Provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc Thim Horn said on October 25 he had yet to study the case in depth. He urged the authorities to do so before taking action.

“I think that before introducing measures to stop them, authorities should study the cause of the case clearly to see if people are offenders who grab the company’s land or the firm is the offender who clears the people’s land,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm