Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Reporters suspected of extortion

Reporters suspected of extortion

Journalists being interrogated by officials on Saturday in Ratanakiri province.
Journalists being interrogated by officials on Saturday in Ratanakiri province. Photo supplied

Reporters suspected of extortion

Police in Ratanakkiri detained and interrogated 13 journalists on Saturday on suspicion of trying to extort illegal timber haulers, but released them after confirming they worked for legitimate media outlets.

Ratanakkiri Deputy Provincial Police Chief Oem Phany said the authorities received a tip that the journalists were gathered on National Road 78 in O’Yadav district, near the border with Vietnam.

“The gathering had the characteristics of an illegal checkpoint,” Phany said. “We educated them not to gather like this, and they should seek news with professional ethics.”

Reporters in Ratanakkiri and elsewhere are often accused of shaking down illegal timber haulers for money, but critics say the practice has also been used by authorities to clamp down on legitimate reporting about the illegal timber trade.

Ratanakkiri Provincial Information Department Director Chhay Borin confirmed the journalists had legitimate press cards and that the 12 small online outlets they worked for were registered with the Ministry of Information.

Phany said the journalists – who could not be reached for comment – were released later on Saturday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh International Airport wins award as passenger traffic soars

    The Phnom Penh International Airport has been awarded Best Asia Pacific Regional Airport 2019 for its sustained high growth in passenger traffic in recent years. The award was presented by the Capa Centre for Aviation (Capa) – a world-leading and trusted organisation that provides market intelligence to

  • PM responds to Rainsy ticket claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday expressed frustration over claims by Sam Rainsy that he had altered Rainsy’s ticket with Thai Airways to prevent him boarding his November 7 flight to Thailand, from where he had claimed he would enter Cambodia. Hun Sen made the

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • Chinese tourists lead international visitors

    Chinese tourists again topped the list of foreign visitors to Cambodia during the first nine months of this year, with the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday reporting a 30 per cent increase on the same period last year. The Kingdom received 4.81 million international tourists in that

  • Princess Buppha Devi passes away aged 77

    Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, who was famous for her skills and key roles behind the Kingdom’s Royal Ballet, passed away on Monday from unspecified illness at a hospital in the Thai capital Bangkok, according to the official Facebook page of King Norodom Sihamoni. “May

  • PM: Request for release of plotters not due to pressure

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday said his request to have the supporters of former opposition leader Sam Rainsy and his “coup plot” released on bail was not made under international pressure. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of 34 roads in Preah Sihanouk