Casino Land-Grab Protests Shut Poipet Border

Cambodia’s Poipet border crossing with Thailand was closed Saturday by Thai authorities following a demonstration by around 1,000 Poipet villagers protesting an alleged land grab to build a new casino in the town.

Banteay Meanchey province Governor Thach Khorn said Sunday the Thai border with Cambodia was still closed following Saturday’s protest when villagers stopped cross-border traffic from Thailand by blocking the road leading from the border. The protest erupted after some 40 families were forced off their land near Poipet town by four RCAF officers. Citing a local court decision ruling ownership in their favor, the RCAF officers ordered the families off the contested land until an alternative property is found, said Thach Khorn. Neither Thach Khorn nor Poipet Court Prosecutor You Buncheng knew Sunday what will be built on the land.

However, a local human rights worker based in Poipet town said Sunday a casino is slated for the land, which was home to hundreds of families and not just 40 as provincial officials claim.

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