pursat
A bridge connects two separate sections of the Thmor Da SEZ. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Sar Kheng Attacks Police Excuses in Scam Trafficking

The dusty road outside tycoon Try Pheap’s Thmor Da SEZ in Pursat is empty. But behind locked metal gates, its shabby buildings appear full of inhabitants. Interior Minister Sar Kheng this week called out police excuses in their crackdown on scam compounds, urging vigilance.

A person cycles past monkey cages at Vanny Bio Research in Pursat on November 21, 2022. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

‘I Pity Them’: Unease Inside the Monkey-Export Business

Workers at the Vanny Bio Research farm speak of X-rays to check newly arriving monkeys for airgun pellets and packing animals into crates for flights. It’s grueling work for under $200 a month to supply overseas laboratories with animals, they say.

Hilly forestland in Pursat's Veal Veng district. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Monkey Hunting an Open Secret Among Pursat Residents

Residents near the hills of Pursat’s Veal Veng district acknowledge there’s plenty of wild monkey hunting in the area, but the animals are getting harder to find. Prices have shot up in recent years, especially for monkeys caught while they are small, they say.

Candlelight commune candidate But Pov looks out at her farm land on May 29, 2022. (Roun Ry/VOD)

In Pursat, Flooded Forest Crackdown Takes Center Stage Before Election

Across Kandieng district in Pursat, people described living through a crackdown on flooded-forest farming and fishing that seemed inconsistent and designed to intimidate, in several cases becoming entwined with politics ahead of the June 5 commune election.