Food Seized From Vendors Near Olympic Market

Authorities confiscated meat, vegetables and other food from about 10 vendors on Street 310 near Phnom Penh’s Olympic Market on Thursday in an effort to clear the street and its sidewalks of curb-side businesses, authorities said Thursday.

“The vendors were selling on a banned spot that authorities had ordered to be cleared by Feb 22,” Tuol Svay Prey I commune chief Ly Pou said by phone Thursday.

Vendors on streets 310, 193 and 199 were offered a vending area 300 meters away, near Tuol Sleng primary school, but many have been reluctant to leave their old locations.

“The move has been mostly im-plemented, as about 98 percent of vendors already moved to the new location,” Ly Pou said, adding he would return the confiscated goods if the vendors would agree to not sell at the off-limits area.

One of the vendors who had goods confiscated, Mey Kimseak, said she found that her things had been taken while she was visiting the new vending area with SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua.

“They came to confiscate our be-longings like we are robbers,” Mey Kimseak said, adding that she could not make a living at the new location, as it does not attract as many customers.

“I cannot earn enough, and it has a bad smell,” she said.

Mu Sochua, who has tried to negotiate a compromise with auth-orities to allow vendors to sell from within the gates of homes on the three affected streets, said that authorities have refused.

“A good solution would not have the authorities using such tough methods. They should use a softer strategy that is acceptable to the vendors because they are poor,” she added.

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