Three Tonle Sap lake fishermen accused of illegal fishing and evading arrest are being held at the Kompong Thom provincial prison, court prosecutors and police said Monday.
“These fishermen defied the crackdown of competent forces,” prosecutor Huot Hy said Monday.
Sok Rameth, 30; Tuot Chhem, 60; and Chhem Khema, 22, were detained after allegedly using weapons to ward off law enforcement officers, Huot Hy said. A group of fishery officials, policemen and military policemen were forced out of the area by angry fishermen wielding knives and spears, Huot Hy said.
Sok Rameth was arrested at the Kompong Thom courthouse, where he accused police of taking illegal action to crack down on the fishermen. Tuot Chhem and Chhem Khema were arrested in the Kompong Chamlang floating village of Phat Sanday commune in Kompong Thom province.
The officials gathered in Phat Sanday commune to combine forces and crack down on poor fishermen trespassing on the privately owned fishing lot No 2, Huot Hy said.
The offenders reportedly put traps across the fish gateway, prompting the lot owner to complain to authorities, Huot Hy said.
Huot Hy said approximately six fishermen have been jailed for illegal fishing and encroaching on banned fishing grounds in the last month.
Ministry of Agriculture officials reported a rise in illegal fishing last year, with poachers using batteries to electrocute fish.