Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police grill alleged illegal miners

Police grill alleged illegal miners

Police grill alleged illegal miners

Four men were detained for questioning yesterday after a joint police operation cracked down on six suspected illegal mining sites in Battambang province, officials said.

Provincial prosecutor Nuon San said officers had also seized chemicals and tools after receiving information about alleged anarchic mineral exploration in secluded parts of Phnom Proek district.

“The four men will be detained for questioning,” he said. “We will find out who they are and the whereabouts of their ringleaders.”

District police chief Soung Sophak said police had discovered 10 generators, heavy excavating machinery, a tractor and chemicals at the mining sites.

“If we can’t complete our operation here today, we’ll continue tomorrow,” he said.

Chum Maly, a local village chief, said unapproved mineral exploration had been rampant in the area for the past three years.

“It is anarchy,” he said. “They seem to have no fear of local authorities.” Maly said villagers were concerned chemicals the illegal miners were using were seeping into nearby waterways.

“There were two cows that died here in October. We suspect they drank water that had been contaminated.”

Cheng Chheang, director of the provincial department of the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Energy, said authorities had a tough job cracking down on illegal miners in the area.

“We used to warn them to stop, but they didn’t care,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group