Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Policeman allegedly running illegal mine

Policeman allegedly running illegal mine

Policeman allegedly running illegal mine

A Ratanakkiri provincial police officer was yesterday questioned over his alleged ownership of an illegal gold mine in Lumphat district, which was forced to close on Wednesday by the authorities.

Mam Kemchheng, Ratanakkiri’s deputy director of transportation police, denied involvement in the mine yesterday.

However, according to other officers, his wife, Pech Sophat, turned up at the site yesterday morning and said the mine did belong to Kemchheng and complained that authorities were targeting him unfairly.

Say Khly, a local police chief, said Sophat had loudly berated the officers at the site yesterday.

“She shouted that if the authorities shut down [Kemchheng’s] mine, they should shut others down as well,” Khly said. “I told her that it was an obvious case that had been brought to our attention.”

The crackdown was launched after an Australian mining concessionaire in the area, Angkor Gold, alerted the authorities to the illegal gold mine, which was located in an area where they have the rights to prospect for the precious metal.

Kemchheng told police his family did not run the mine.

He also denied that the equipment seized Wednesday was used for mining.

“The [equipment] was used for watering crops, and the [rock] grinder is too old to use,” he claimed.

Angkor Gold spokesman Ma Som Art said that they had warned illegal miners to cease operations twice before filing a complaint.

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,

  • 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

  • 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

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on