Four Land Disputants Arrested in Mondulkiri

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A colorful tented resort along a newly-plowed road seen from the edge of Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary on February 11, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)
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Mondulkiri prosecutors are questioning four people arrested after a confrontation between authorities and residents over an alleged land grab in Keo Seima district. 

More than 50 officers from police, military police and the Forestry Administration “cracked down on illegal land grabbing” at a company’s economic land concession in Sre Chhouk commune on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by Keo Seima district police.

The statement named the company as “Pacific Joint Stock.” Records show two rubber concessions in the area, Pacific Glory Joint-Stock and Pacific Victory Joint-Stock.

Four suspects were arrested, police said: Sam Veth, 42; Chea Seiha, 30; Nhem Seiha, 51; and Muong Seiha, 17. The statement said the first three were from Tbong Khmum and the 17-year-old from Takeo, without giving further detail about the suspects.

A video posted online by Phnom Penh Daily showed armed guards confronting a small group of families in a bare field. Another video showed a field full of temporary shelters.

Seav Ngy Chhoan, spokesperson for the provincial court prosecution, said on Thursday that prosecutors were questioning the four suspects but had yet to charge them. “We are listening to their answers,” Ngy Chhoan said.

Separately, two farmers were arrested in Battambang province for alleged encroachment on state land, according to National Police. Arrest warrants were issued for Moeun Roeun, 45, and Vith Samoeun, 32, earlier this month for the alleged crime in Kors Kralor district’s Preah Phos commune dating back to July.

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