A property development firm cut a house in half in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district Monday, authorities said.
HCD Company purchased half of the 7-by-9-meter house in Phsar Depot III commune in 2007, said Othsman Hassan, the company owner, but the seller’s brother, Nhim Sokha, who owned the other half, refused to sell his stake in the property.
“We allowed [Nhim Sokha] and his family to stay for one year, but today our contract is over. We asked him to move his half out, but he did not listen to our company, so today we sent our workers,” said Othsman Hassan, who is also a secretary of state at the Ministry of Labor.
Othsman Hassan added that his workers cut away the half of the house he owns.
The house cutting took place between 8 am and 1:30 pm, said Nhim Sokha, 47, who had been living in the entire house with his wife and five children until it was cut in half Monday.
The cutting and demolition also cut off electricity and water access, he said, visibly upset while standing in front of the half of the house that was still standing.
The deputy chief of Village 10, who refused to give her name, said there were 282 families living in the area in 1997, but only about 40 remain as private companies snatch up the land for future development.
District police chief Mok Hong said he was aware of the demolition and that police were present as it was executed.