Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials name suspects in illegal mine operation




Officials name suspects in illegal mine operation

Officials inspect a mine shaft in Kratie’s Sambor district, where a shaft collapsed in August, killing miners. Photo supplied
Officials inspect a mine shaft in Kratie’s Sambor district, where a shaft collapsed in August, killing miners. Photo supplied

Officials name suspects in illegal mine operation

Local authorities allege that a former Khmer Rouge soldier and his wife are behind the attempts to operate an unregistered gold mine near the site of a fatal mineshaft collapse in Kratie, but officials have not taken action yet.

Authorities identified two suspects – O’por village resident Kim Sarakea, and his wife, Sou Pharon – for leading a group of undocumented Vietnamese nationals to work in an unauthorised gold mine in Sambor district, according to Sok Kiriroth, director of the provincial Department of Mines and Energy. Kiriroth said yesterday that they received the tip from a cook who was detained for questioning last week.

O’por Village Chief Sok Yoeun said Sarakea allegedly led the group of undocumented workers to explore 5 hectares of land for mining potential, about 2 kilometres away from the site of a mine collapse that killed four workers in August.

The new mine site came to light last week after officials discovered at least 10 migrants from Kampong Thom province exploring the same shaft where the fatal collapse occurred. A separate collapse occurred in September.

The village chief said he could not take action against the mine because he was unaware of it until last week and was not authorised to shut it down.

Provincial Deputy Prosecutor Chea Sopheak said he had been to the site, but he has been unable to summon the alleged operators because he had yet to receive proper documentation from police.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia