Illegal Phones, Satellite Dish Seized From City Warehouse

Officials at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications say they have raided an illegal overseas telephone operation in­side the military’s technical de­partment in Rus­sei Keo district.

The building, known as Ware­house K4, was raided on March 18 by ministry investigators pursuing 74 illegal phone lines operating from it. The team of investigators, which had official clearance from Prime Minister Hun Sen and Min­is­ter of Defense Tea Banh, was delayed some 40 minutes be­fore the raid began at 4:45 pm.

“They placed four or five drunk­en military men with guns who obstructed our way,” said a Ministry of Posts and Tele­com­mu­nications official who was present at the raid. “They said we could get in only if we got permission from their bosses.”

Inside the building, 24 mobile phones were seized along with a satellite dish that measured 3.8 me­ters in diameter. Posts and Te­le­communications officials also un­covered 128 phone numbers that were being used.

The scam is run through cell phones that can be wired into a net­work, a computer and a satellite dish that accepts incoming phone calls from the US before automatically diverting them to homes throughout Cambodia, in­vestigators said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court De­puty Prosecutor Khut So­pheang said that it would take some time to file charges because the suspects are military officers. “Klaing K4 has many bosses who are colonels or one-, two- or three-star generals,” Khut Sopheang said. “I am waiting for the police in­vestigation, but it will not be easy to find out who is behind the il­legal operation.”

Of­ficials say they suspect the operation was run by the same people who ran a similar op­er­a­tion from rooftop offices in the Min­is­try of Information compound.

Authorities raided the office of the In­ter­na­tion­al Information Sub­scription Ser­vice Inc in late Feb­ru­ary. The company had a 10-year contract signed by Minister of In­formation Lu Laysreng.


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