Journalist Arrested in Siem Reap in Alleged Extortion Case

Police in Siem Reap city on Friday arrested a journalist for allegedly blackmailing a local business owner, less than two weeks after police there detained another reporter for a similar crime, authorities said.

Siem Reap minor crimes police chief Phing Chendareth said police ar­rested 34-year-old Khorn Bora, a re­porter for the little known newspaper “New Light,” in Slakram commune.

According to the police chief, Mr Bora took $50 from a local furniture seller on March 25 in return for not re­porting about her business. He said Mr Bora then advised the vendor to hide her wood, allegedly de­manding $1,000, but finally settled for a $300 payoff on March 28.

Mr Chendareth added that Mr Bora was sent to court on Saturday and that his officers were sear­ching for a second suspect. Prose­cutor Ty So­vannthal said yesterday that he had handed the case over to an investigating judge who could not be reached. “If he is charged or detained, it is the judge’s decision.”

Sou Choeun, director of the Ang­kor Journalist Alliance, said he had ne­ver heard of the “New Light.”

“It is wrong to do [extortion] but the authorities should in­vestigate the people who said the jour­nalist ex­torted them to make sure the journalist really got the money from them,” said Moeun Chhean Na­riddh, director of the Cam­bodia In­stitute for Media Studies.

On April 6, Siem Reap police ar­rested Koh Santepheap Daily re­porter Sim Samnang for allegedly extorting money from a wood manufacturer suspected of dealing in illegal timber.

 

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