The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) arrested Kampong Chhnang Deputy Provincial Police Chief Sum Socheat and Colonel Keo Narun, director of the provincial intervention police, for the occupation and illegal sale of state flooded forest land.

ACU issued two separate press releases on December 16, with the first press release stating that after taking a statement down from the 51-year-old Sum Socheat, ACU determined that “the suspects had engaged in the occupation and sale of flooded forests in three areas of Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Leng district. Thus, ACU detained the suspects on December 16, 2021 at 20:45mn for further legal action.”

The other press release said that ACU has taken action against the 59-year-old Keo Narun over the occupation of state land with flooded forests in three areas in the district.

National and provincial authorities have been investigating and prosecuting anyone who has occupied or cleared flooded forest land near the Tonle Sap Lake on the orders of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The prime minister took action after Royal Academy of Cambodia researcher Sok Touch had gone there to examine the situation at the lake in November and then sounded the alarm about the threat that the destruction of tens of thousands of hectares of state-owned flooded forest habitat posed to the many species of fish in the lake that use it as their spawning grounds.