ACU Arrests Reporters and Construction Worker

The government’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) on Friday arrested two reporters and a construction worker in Kampot City for their alleged role in extorting a deputy provincial governor, officials and a colleague of one of the suspects said Sunday.

Hok Ly, a reporter for TV9, and Sar Sunly, who was employed by both Kampuchea Thmey newspaper and Hong Meas TV, along with Sok Sovann, a construction worker, were arrested by ACU officials Friday evening, Kampot City police chief Ngoem Vath said Sunday.

“We do not know the reason why the ACU arrested them, as [the ACU] works independently and does not cooperate with us,” Mr. Vath said.

ACU head Om Yentieng confirmed that the anti-graft body arrested the three men, but declined to comment further.

But Meas Rithy, a news anchor for Hong Meas, said an ACU official—whom she refused to name—told him the arrests were related to Mr. Ly’s attempted extortion of a deputy provincial governor.

Mr. Rithy said Mr. Sunly is accused of being a minor accomplice to the crime, and that he didn’t know why Mr. Sovann, the construction worker, was arrested with the pair.

“The ACU official told me that Hok Ly had attempted to extort $1,000 from a deputy governor,” Mr. Rithy said, adding that he did not know the name of the deputy governor.

In a post on his personal Facebook page on September 7, Mr. Ly accused an unnamed deputy provincial governor of not paying villagers for land he arranged to purchase from them, and for encroaching on land claimed by another group of villagers.

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