Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two nabbed for grabbing and clearing land in Pursat



Two nabbed for grabbing and clearing land in Pursat

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Two men, including a village chief, were arrested on Friday for allegedly grabbing and clearing 10ha of forest land in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district. Police

Two nabbed for grabbing and clearing land in Pursat

Two men, including a village chief, were arrested on Friday for allegedly grabbing and clearing 10ha of forest land in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district.

Krasaing Pnov village chief Penh Sarorn, 49, and Vong Phalla, 50, were arrested on the orders of Pursat provincial governor Mao Thorin, Veal Veng district police chief Theang Leng told The Post on Monday.

Leng said in his capacity as village chief, Sarorn signed titles giving Phalla ownership over land in Veal Veng district’s Krapoeu Pi commune. Phalla later used that title to clear 10ha for farming.

“The land was off-limits because it is in a forest, but villagers occupied the land nonetheless. They requested titles for the land which were signed against the law by the village and commune chiefs with permission from their superiors.

“Accordingly, I have been instructed to arrest these two men and deliver them to the provincial department of environment for further action,” said Leng, who added that the men planned to clear at least one more hectare.

Provincial department of environment director Pan Morakat said the police sent the accused to the department on Sunday evening. Officials began interrogating them on Monday to collect evidence before sending them to court.

Morakat said he could not provide further details as the investigation was ongoing.

Krapoeu Pi commune chief Teach San said villagers have been clearing forest land for farming since 2018.

He said he issued several land titles to villagers after they told him they needed the documents to secure loans with microcredit organisations.

He later learned that some of that land belonged to a forest, and confronted the villagers to stop them from clearing the plots. However, by the time he confronted the villagers, some had already sold the land for as much as $500 per hectare.

Thorin could not be reached for comment on Monday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the