Seng Vannak, police chief of Phsar Doeum Thkov commune, stumbled upon and put an end to an “unfair” fee-collection scheme on Saturday while on his lunch break.
Mr. Vannak was buying food from vendors lined up outside the fence of the commune’s health center in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district when he overheard a man discussing increased rental fees with the sellers.
After confronting the man, Mr. Vannak said, the man told him he was collecting money for the health center chief.
“It’s not right that the health center collects money from vendors,” Mr. Vannak said, adding that he sent the man to the district hall to sign a contract agreeing to stop the collections.
Chhum Thida, a vendor, said she had paid $60 per month for her space.
“I was so happy that the authorities stopped the health center from collecting money from us,” she said.
Chap Oeung, another seller who said he had worked there since 1991, said the rental fee was imposed in 2014 when a new chief, whom local media identified as Srey Rothna, took charge.
Chamkar Mon district governor Prum Somkhan declined to comment.