Police Detained Over Actions in Land Dispute

Six municipal police officials have been detained at the Min­istry of Interior on suspicion of il­le­gally deploying forces to a land dis­pute on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, officials said Wednes­day.

Municipal Minor Crime Bu­reau Chief Hong Setha and his First Deputy Ly Rasy were arrested Tuesday, along with Section Chief of Minor Crime Sim Sokha and his three deputies Phon Channary, Ung Samnang and Chan Sovanny, said Mok Chito, first deputy director of the Minis­try of Interior’s penal police de­part­ment.

The six are accused of being in­volved in the illegal deployment of police officers to a land dispute in Phlou Pa’em Village, Kok Roka com­mune in Dangkao district, of­ficials said. The deployed forces al­legedly destroyed a Chinese ceme­tery on disputed land.

“We are keeping them for discipline inside the ministry,” Nation­al Police Commissioner Hok Lun­dy said.

“We are holding this case for a clear investigation,” Hok Lundy said, adding that the six face a “strict investigation” at the ministry. “The results will be known in another week,” he said.

The Ministry of Interior was ori­ginal­ly scheduled to send the six officers to Phnom Penh Muni­ci­pal Court to face charges, but this was delayed because of a lack of evidence, said Deputy Na­tional Police Commissioner Sok Phal.

At the very least, he said, the of­ficers will be disciplined or fired.

“A serious discipline is to sack them from the National Police,” he said. “But if it’s found to be more serious, they must be sent to court.”

Sok Phal declined to provide more details on the case and re­ferred questions to the Interior Min­istry’s intelligence section director Chhay Sinarith, who is leading the investigation.

Contacted by phone, Chhay Sinarith declined comment.

The six were detained several weeks after former municipal po­lice commissioner Heng Pov was re­moved from his post.


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