ACU Rejects Airport Families’ Investigation Request

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) on Thursday denied a request by families living next to Phnom Penh International Airport to investigate the possibility that City Hall has not issued them land titles due to graft, a representative of the families said.

For years, authorities have threatened to evict the residents of the airport-hugging Thma Koul neighborhood.

They were given a lifeline in March when Prime Minister Hun Sen promised to “keep the status quo” in order to avoid protests.

Since then, however, they have not received land titles, nor any indication that they will.

On Wednesday, some 40 Thma Koul residents delivered a petition to the ACU’s headquarters, asking the unit to investigate whether the land titles were not forthcoming because of local government corruption.

Keo Sovann, a representative of the residents, said on Thursday that ACU Chairman Om Yentieng had informed them during a meeting in the morning that the unit would not be taking on the case.

“He said our complaint was not a corruption case, and that the ACU would not take any action,” Mr. Sovann said, adding that the community would next submit a petition to Mr. Hun Sen’s Cabinet.

Mr. Yentieng could not be reached on Thursday.

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