Collusion Governor denies land grab claims

The governor of Preah Sihanouk province on Monday refuted claims by Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung that he had colluded with two prominent tycoons in grabbing land for personal gain in Prey Nop district.

The denial came after Sovann Vathana Sabung raised the issue during a meeting with the Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, Chea Sophara, on Friday.

Sovann Vathana Sabung is currently rotating president of the Consultation Forum, a committee formed by Prime Minister Hun Sen to provide feedback to the government on social issues and be a step towards a “culture of dialogue”.

During the meeting, he had asked Sophara not to issue land titles to, among others, tycoons Sy Kong Triv and Ly Yong Phat, whom he alleged had conspired with provincial governor Yun Min to grab state land. The request was accepted by Sophara.

Attempts to reach the tycoons on Monday failed, while Min denied any wrongdoing.

“It is not true. The Ministry of Interior has investigated and found nothing wrong,” Min said.