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

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges