Sar Kheng: Stop ‘Extortion’ at Chroy Changva

Co-Minister of Interior Sar Kheng called for Phnom Penh mun­icipal officials Monday to crack down on guards who extort mon­ey at the Chroy Changva taxi rank on National Route 6A be­fore disputes between taxi drivers and the rank’s operators turn bloody.

Sar Kheng said disputes surround allegations that private security guards at the Chroy Changva rank demand money from taxi drivers by blocking the road and forcing them to park inside the rank.

“Many problems still continue though we had resolved it,” he said. “Therefore, the municipality should take action on the issue…, otherwise bloody fighting or arson will happen someday.”

On Sunday, Sar Kheng said he caught parking lot guards knocking on the door of a vehicle leaving Phnom Penh to demand mon­ey from the driver.

“Taxis driving from Phnom Penh to the provinces do not need to park, but why did those guards try to extort money from the drivers illegally?” he said.

City Governor Kep Chuktema declined to address the matter, saying he was advised on the issue by many officials—not only Sar Kheng. “This is only one case among a hundred cases in which guards extorted money,” Kep Chuk­­tema said. “I only care whether or not lot owners take money from drivers because of official fees.”

Suy Sophan, director of Phan­imex Co Ltd and an owner of the Chroy Changva parking lot, said taxis leaving or approaching Phnom Penh must park at the lots—as the municipality doesn’t allow taxis to enter the capital.

“I don’t know how to explain it, but my own guards only order taxi vehicles to park in the parking lots,” Suy Sophan said. “They nev­er commit crimes or extort money from drivers. I thought that it was the activities of bad police official who blackmail my guards.”

She said she would help officials investigate, saying police extort money when taxis enter the city.

“Police officials closed their eyes and let taxi drivers drive their vehicles into the capital when they were offered money,” she added.

 

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