Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials name suspects in illegal mine operation

Officials name suspects in illegal mine operation

Officials inspect a mine shaft in Kratie’s Sambor district, where a shaft collapsed in August, killing miners. Photo supplied
Officials inspect a mine shaft in Kratie’s Sambor district, where a shaft collapsed in August, killing miners. Photo supplied

Officials name suspects in illegal mine operation

Local authorities allege that a former Khmer Rouge soldier and his wife are behind the attempts to operate an unregistered gold mine near the site of a fatal mineshaft collapse in Kratie, but officials have not taken action yet.

Authorities identified two suspects – O’por village resident Kim Sarakea, and his wife, Sou Pharon – for leading a group of undocumented Vietnamese nationals to work in an unauthorised gold mine in Sambor district, according to Sok Kiriroth, director of the provincial Department of Mines and Energy. Kiriroth said yesterday that they received the tip from a cook who was detained for questioning last week.

O’por Village Chief Sok Yoeun said Sarakea allegedly led the group of undocumented workers to explore 5 hectares of land for mining potential, about 2 kilometres away from the site of a mine collapse that killed four workers in August.

The new mine site came to light last week after officials discovered at least 10 migrants from Kampong Thom province exploring the same shaft where the fatal collapse occurred. A separate collapse occurred in September.

The village chief said he could not take action against the mine because he was unaware of it until last week and was not authorised to shut it down.

Provincial Deputy Prosecutor Chea Sopheak said he had been to the site, but he has been unable to summon the alleged operators because he had yet to receive proper documentation from police.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration