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

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Aeon, Micromax partner again for third mall

    AEON Mall (Cambodia) Co Ltd and a locally-owned Micromax Co Ltd have entered into a partnership agreement to develop fibre optic infrastructure for $200 million Aeon Mall 3, which is expected to be opened in 2023. The agreement was signed on June 20 between Masayuki Tsuboya, managing director of

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and