Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials questioned over land deal

Officials questioned over land deal

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Officials came under fire for allegedly planning to sell land in the protected Ang Trapaing Thmar area in Banteay Meanchey province. Photo supplied

Officials questioned over land deal

Five Phnom Srok district officials were called before the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Administration to explain accusations that they were attempting to sell state land in the protected Ang Trapaing Thmar area that included land belonging to security offices and three armed forces units, a court spokesman said.

Deputy provincial governor Ly Sary identified the officials as Phnom Srok district deputy governor Sao Len, chief of land management office Phnom Srok district Tang Phan, and Poy Char commune chief Khouth Khoun. The other two officials are Sok Rithy and Thoun Lamhinh.

Besides the five, the provincial administration plans to call other related individuals to explain the issue.

“After questioning these five officers, the provincial administration has allowed them to go back to work,” the court spokesman said.

The five were brought in after the heads of the district police, Military Police and military claimed that deputy district governor Yim Samnang had colluded with the land management chief, residents and outside business people to fill a pond and sell a 36m by 92m swath of property that includes the offices located in Poy Char commune, Phnom Srok district.

Phnom Srok district governor Yim Samnang told The Post on Tuesday that there is no such case of selling the offices and removing the Trapaing Thmar reservoir.

“I was shocked to hear this news,” Samnang said. The locations reported are land that belongs to residents not the units,” he said.

Poy Char commune chief Khoun told The Post that the report was not true but questioning from provincial administration is a good thing because the truth came out.

“I explained to the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Administration already and we gave a report and other documents related to development,” he said.

Khoun said since the Ang Trapaing Thma became a popular recreational area for national and international tourists, the locals have become better off. He said houses have improved and some people put soil on their land to prevent flood in the rainy season.

Phnom Srok Military Police chief Sin Deab told The Post that the location was given to security forces by the previous Phnom Srok governor, Seng Ty, in 2012 to build offices for officers to provide security to tourists.

Deab said that last year people came to fill the land by saying that they bought it and had permission from authorities. He said he therefore knew that corrupt officials sold the land to outside business people.

“After that Phnom Srok deputy military commander Yin Kunthak and district police chief Yorth Sophal and I made the report to the provincial administration for intervention to protect the location for security offices because it is state land,” he said.

“We demand to protect this location for security offices and not for sale to any individuals,” he said. “We want the provincial administration to investigate carefully and transparently.”

Banteay Meanchey deputy governor Ly Sari who called Phnom Srok administration officers in for questioning told The Post on Tuesday that provincial administration is proceeding with legal procedure to question and further investigate the case but is not accusing any officers yet.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,