Tycoon Threatens to Have Journalists Shot Dead

A glass-manufacturing tycoon on Saturday threatened to shoot dead two local journalists as they were covering a dispute he was having with another businessman in Phnom Penh, according to a report posted on the National Police website.

The journalists, from Cambodia Express News and Bayon TV, were covering an argument between Tang Pheng Por, who owns an eponymous glass company, and Ly Kim Heng, who trades in soil, outside Mr. Pheng Por’s factory in Pur Senchey district when the death threat was made.

The police website said the dispute between the businessmen had broken out after soil delivery trucks owned by Mr. Kim Heng attempted to pass a public road in front of Mr. Pheng Por’s factory, which Mr. Pheng Por had blocked with concrete posts.

“During the argument, the two journalists from Cambodia Express News and Bayon TV went to the site and reported about the dispute between the two persons,” the police report says.

“Oknha Tang Pheng Por ordered the journalists to stop taking photographs, but the journalists refused to follow the order,” the report continues.

“After that, Oknha Tang Pheng Por ordered his bodyguards to shoot the journalists dead. At his order, the two bodyguards confiscated the cameras and then there was a scuffle.”

According to the police report, Mr. Pheng Por then became angry and attempted to call forces from the nearby Brigade 70 as reinforcements. The report does not elaborate on this, and does not say whether any arrests were made at the scene.

Cambodia Express News reporter Sorn Sophal said Sunday that he was one of the two journalists threatened by Mr. Pheng Por.

“They tried to push the reporters out from the event when the dispute took place and then I took their picture,” said Mr. Sophal. “I was threatened to be shot when I took the picture of the truck.”

Neither Mr. Kim Heng nor representatives of Mr. Pheng Por’s company could be reached for comment.

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