The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has warned several families not to be fooled by the claims of land brokers who sold them land which belongs to Canadia Bank Plc.

The appeal was made through a February 24 press release, which explained the issues surrounding the land in Chamnot Ream village of Prey Nob district’s Bit Trang commune.

“In 2019, a group of brokers used forged documents to create sales, purchase and transfer paperwork for the parcel of land, and sold plots to around 250 families,” said the release.

It added that on November 23, 2020, the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court awarded the land titles to Canadia Bank. After obtaining the court order, Canadia Bank requested the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction change the designation of the land from forest cover and reclassify it as private land.

On December 31, 2021, the Royal Government issued Sub-Decree No. 280, agreeing reclassify the land and transfer title to Canadia Bank for management. The bank received the titles in June last year.

After acquiring ownership, Canadia Bank, together with the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration, worked to provide sections of land to residents who were settled there.

Many of them accepted the offer, but a few refused, saying they believed they had legitimately bought the land from the brokers.

“The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration calls on all members of the public to be wary of brokers who attempt to fool them into occupying state or private land. We will take serious legal actions against any broker who attempts to do so, without exception,” said the release.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesman Kheang Phearum could not be reached for comment on February 26, while provincial deputy governor Long Dimanche was abroad on business.