Sihanoukville police are investigating the origin of five hand grenades that washed ashore on the popular Ochateal beach this week.
Municipal police chief Tak Vantha said Thursday the Russian-made grenades washed up at the far end of the beach Monday away from where tourists congregate in Mittapheap district.
The grenades had most likely been thrown into the sea in a bid to dispose of them, he said.
“[The grenades] looked old and corroded,” Tak Vantha said.
Commune 4 police officer Sokhon Simon said a section of the beach had been closed off for a time on Monday while authorities removed the grenades and disposed of them safely.
Police in Banteay Meanchey province on Thursday delivered a massive stockpile of old munitions to the Cambodian Mine Action Center after a scrap metal dealer realized that some were still dangerous.
A recent investigation of scrap metal stalls in Poipet town uncovered 6,571 shells, grenades, rockets, landmines and mortars, O’Chrov district police officer Sam Chamnan said by telephone.
At least 54 of the pieces still had live explosives, and harmful chemicals were present in many other pieces, he said.
“Two stockpiles at the stalls were all bullets and grenades, and some were unexploded and could still be harmful to people,” Sam Chamnan said, adding that most of the munitions appeared to date from the 1970s.
Sam Chamnan said the scrap metal trader had bought the pieces from many different scavengers and intended to sell his stock as scrap in Thailand.
When the owner realized some of his stock was dangerous he contacted the police, Sam Chamnan added.
CMAC Director-General Khem Sophoan said his Banteay Meanchey officials were in the process of making the stockpile safe.
CMAC has tried to educate people about the dangers of scavenging for unexploded ordnance but they did not always listen.
“They risk their lives when they do this,” he added.