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

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma