Email Threat Lands Vision Publisher in Jail Arrested For Threats

The publisher of The Vision newspaper was arrested Thurs­day for allegedly emailing a threat to a senior Naga casino official from whom he was trying to extort $5,000, Deputy Municipal Police Chief Bith Kimhong said.

T Mohan remains in police custody as authorities investigate the case, which was brought to their attention by Naga officials. According to a Naga statement, threats were made against both the official—identified by police as casino Vice President Song Meng Kong—and the Naga ship itself. But in their complaint to police, Naga officials did not name or suggest that T Mohan was behind the threats, according to the statement.

“There was no business dispute between Mohan and Naga, or any of its employees…Naga has no reason to believe the threats were motivated by a personal vendetta against the owner nor any of the employees of the company,” the statement reads.

T Mohan could not be reached Friday for comment. But police allege he was going to take the $5,000 and hand it over to members of the anti-government organization Khmer Serey in Kratie province.

“He confessed that …he is the bridge to take money from Naga casino and hand it over to Khmer Serey,” Bith Kimhong said.

Naga officials said they could not comment on this alleged link to Khmer Serey or any other aspect of the case beyond their statement.

The government maintains that recent bandit activity on the road between Snuol and Kratie can be blamed on highwaymen calling themselves Khmer Serey—a shadowy movement that government officials have generally dismissed as having no real political message or organization.

But the killing in May of at least three men thought by human rights groups to be connected to rebel groups near Snuol has brought the Khmer Serey debate to light again.

Senior government officials—including Prime Minister Hun Sen—have acknow­ledged the  exis­tence of an organization called Khmer Serey, without offering any real definition of the group.

Others, including diplomatic officials, suggest that Khmer Serey may be a creation of the CPP-led government meant to ferret out political dissenters.

The Vision habitually published stories suggesting that Khmer Serey existed as a legitimate opponent of the government. It also routinely ran photos of armed men alleged to be Khmer Serey fighters that were living in the jungle.

 

 

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