Sambor district police transferred three men being held in custody to Kratie provincial police on April 26 after arresting them on April 25 for allegedly attempting to illegally mine gold on property owned by a Chinese company in the O’tron area of Kbal Damrei commune.

District police chief Chrin Sothea told The Post that the suspects – 52-year-old Sin Sokhet and his two accomplices, An Ravi, 29, and Chim Sola, 24 – are all residents of Kbal Damrei commune’s O'Por village.

Sothea added that they were caught in the act of digging for gold on the property of Xing Yuan Kanng Yeak Co Ltd on the night of April 25.

“The three suspects were sent to the Kratie provincial police on Monday afternoon for further legal action,” he said.

Sambor district police chief Bun Chhoeun told The Post on April 26 that his team had received the case and taken custody of the three suspects for further questioning before sending their case file to the court.

Chhoeun said he expected to send them to the provincial court later that day.

Illegal gold mining in the O’tron area of Sambor district’s Kbal Damrei commune has been a problem in recent years, and a number of workers have died due to landslides at the gold mine’s entrance.

The authorities have repeatedly cracked down on illegal gold mining in the district's economic land concession area after the government granted mineral extraction rights to the Chinese mining company.