Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - So-called ‘village chief’ closes school



So-called ‘village chief’ closes school

So-called ‘village chief’ closes school

A man claiming to be the chief of a made-up Poipet village is under investigation after a series of alleged misdeeds targeting villagers.

Sam Choeun, 60, the self-declared chief of Ou’Sva Roil village – which officials say is actually merely a part of Soriya village – allegedly ordered an NGO-run school closed last week. He argued the school had been built on state land and allegedly threatened to beat anybody who entered, according to teacher Meas Samnang.

The villagers filed a complaint to the provincial governor three days later, he said, after which the chief of Nimit commune, where Soriya is located, ordered the school re-opened yesterday.

Ma Rin, the Nimit commune police chief, said authorities intervened to open the school yesterday, and were investigating a pattern of alleged intimidation by Choeun.

“The person has many complaints at the court relating to fraud and instigating people from other provinces to clear and control farmland that belongs to 14 families in the area,” Rin said.

Problems between Choeun and the villagers began in 2011 when he allegedly sold villagers’ land to outsiders. According to Run Oun, the Nimit commune chief, the 14 families received land titles in 2015, but that has not ended the conflict.

Prak Sun, a representative of the plaintiffs, said they filed a complaint in 2013 to the provincial court, but were still waiting for the authorities to take action.

“Authorities claimed that they were investigating the case to collect more evidence against Sam Choeun, but until now the person is still at large and continues to threaten the villagers,” Sun said.

Oun said that in June 2016, Provincial Governor Suon Bovor ordered provincial police and Military Police to investigate the case following a complaint by the villagers, but no action was taken.

Samnang, the school teacher, yesterday expressed satisfaction about the reopening of the school. “I know that this person has committed a lot of mistakes,” he said.

Sam Choeun could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring