Officials Dismantle Huts Used by Students

Citing complaints from parents of students, authorities in Russei Keo district on Thursday demolished more than 400 wooden huts that they said were being hired out for amorous encounters and drug abuse, officials said Friday.

A delegation of district officials and police led by deputy district governor Tep Veasna conducted the operation, dismantling 407 wooden kiosks located inside 66 entertainment establishments along National Road A and the bank of the Mekong River in Prek Liep commune.

“They are locations of the des­troyers of national tradition,” Tep Veasna said of the huts, which were owned by local villagers. “They are a haven of sex and drugs amongst teenagers still in school.”

He said some villagers were annoyed when their huts were dismantled, but added that they had previously ignored repeated requests to open up the huts and thus prevent illicit activity.

Prek Liep commune Chief Preap Mony said he had been mon­itoring the huts closely, and was pleased with the move.

“That place was not good for tradition,” he said. “Young people sneaked out of school and came here. It encouraged them to have sex and take drugs.” He added that the huts had en­couraged public disorder, as thieves would sometimes steal motorbikes belonging to the people who were inside.

Preap Mony said he, together with commune police, burned down some of the huts on several occasions in recent years to try to deal with the problem, but to no avail. Recently, up to 100 couples per day had been coming to hire out the huts, but they were particularly popular on Saturdays and Sundays, he said, adding: “I tried my best to make them change this systematic business.”

Customers had generally hired out the huts from between 7 am and 10 am and from 2 pm to 5 pm, he said, adding that they came from high schools across the capital.

Liv Vann Heng, the owner of one hut that was not destroyed, said he was pleased by the move, adding that he serves food to families and not students.


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