City Police HQ Dealt In Swap With Phanimex To Phanimex

Phnom Penh’s Municipal Police headquarters has been traded to property investment firm Phani­mex Co Ltd, which, in exchange for the state-owned property near Phsar Thmei, will build a new police office outside the city center, the firm’s director said Tuesday.

Phanimex is building a new Municipal Police headquarters in Russei Keo district, about 9 km from the city center, on three hectares of land owned by the com­pany, Phanimex Director Suy Sophan said Tuesday.

“It is a good strategy to expand the city,” Suy Sophan said. “Staff members and people will be able to settle on the outskirts of the city near their work places.”

Suy Sophan declined to say whether she had paid money to the government for granting her company the current Municipal Po­lice buildings on Street 51, located near the state-run Preah Mon­ivong Hospital.

On Sunday, Kith Meng, chairman of the Royal Group family of companies, disclosed that he was in talks with the Ministry of In­terior to rent land at that hospital, which would be redeveloped to include a shopping center.

Heng Pov, Municipal Police commissioner, referred questions on Tuesday about the exchange of his headquarters to the Ministry of Interior.

But Interior Ministry spokes­man Khieu Sopheak said Tuesday he was unaware of the exchange.

Government spokesman and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said Monday he too was unaware of the reported swap, but added that if state property is sold, the transaction usually needs to be conducted through the Ministry of Finance, which would value the property.

State property can be sold if it is not needed, Khieu Kanharith said.

Ngy Tayi, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Finance, referred questions about the ex­change to Finance Minister Keat Chhon on Tuesday, who could not be reached on his phone.

Phanimex has also made an additional deal with the government to build another government office in Russei Keo district, also in return for a government building in the city center, Suy Sophan said.

She declined to name the office in question or the ministry to which it belonged.

Suy Sophan also declined to say how the firm will use the prime real estate on which the Municipal Police headquarters is situated.

The acquisition of the Municipal Police headquarters adds to Phanimex’s portfolio of formerly state-owned land.

Ministry of Health documents obtained in November showed the Health Ministry was set to swap three plots of land in Cham­kar Mon, Prampi Makara and Tuol Kok district with Phani­mex in return for a new building.

Under a deal with the mun­icipality, Phanimex has already been granted a land-swap deal with the municipality to redevelop the Borei Keila squatter community.

The company also manages the Chroy Changva taxi station, which levies tolls on all taxis and buses entering and leaving Phnom Penh.

One source close to the police claimed on Tuesday that the Municipal Police headquarters’ site will be used for private apartments.

The source also claimed that RCAF’s General Headquarters on Norodom Boulevard may also be up for sale, as well as the Traffic Police Department’s headquarters on the corner of Monivong and Russian Boulevard.

Tea Banh, co-Minister of De­fense, denied on Tuesday that the General Headquarters was for sale.

“That place cannot be sold,” Tea Banh said.

Tim Prosar, a former Russei Keo-district police chief who now works at the Municipal Police headquarters, said Tuesday that he was very pleased by the relocation.

“My office is an old building. The concrete is crumbling,” he said.

 

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