Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nine held in connection with cockfighting, gambling ring

Nine held in connection with cockfighting, gambling ring

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Live gamecocks, mobile phones and gambling equipment are among the seized evidence. National police

Nine held in connection with cockfighting, gambling ring

Nine people, including four local media reporters, who were arrested on Sunday for their alleged involvement in an illegal gambling ring in the capital’s Mean Chey district would be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday, district police chief Meng Vimeandara said.

Police on Sunday launched a clampdown on a cockfighting ring in Stung Meanchey II commune where nine people were arrested and evidence impounded.

“This is the first time that we have arrested people for their involvement in cockfighting and craps games,” Vimeandara told The Post on Monday.

Four out of nine suspects who were netted amid the crackdown were identified as reporters for the Piphup Thmey, Virak Senchey, and Khmer Power newspapers, as well as one unidentified local news outlet. They were 36, 53, 29 and 48 years old, respectively.

The other five suspects were aged 38, 37, 62, 48, and 45, Vimeandara said.

Three gamecocks, one bowl for dice spinning, two iron spurs, 11 old mobile phones, 870,000 riel ($213) in cash and four motorbikes were impounded during the raid.

Police deemed the operation difficult, Vimendara said, as the gambling location was hidden in a grove and watchful “agents” were standing by at the entrance to the site.

Club of Cambodian Journalists president Pen Bona said arresting the journalists was acceptable if the suspects had truly been involved in illicit activities.

He said if the reporters had accepted a bribe from the ring masterminds in exchange for not reporting the illegal events, then they were in collusion.

“I am constantly worried about this [collusion by journalists], but I also often told them to follow the ethics of journalism . . . Some people had no awareness of it whatsoever. As a result, many of them were arrested for extortion,” Bona said.

Vimeandara said the nine suspects were currently detained at the district headquarters and that the case files were being prepared “in accordance with the law”.

Though cockfighting was officially banned in 2009, it remains a common past-time in the Kingdom, with participants lured by the excitement, cash and glory.

Cockfighting has a long tradition in Cambodia, dating to before the time of Jayavarman VII. Carvings on the wall of the 12th-century Bayon temple depict a scene that wouldn’t be out of place today – two groups of men jostling for a better view as two handlers square their birds off in a ring.

MOST VIEWED

  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Khmer influence growing in Hollywood

    The rare success of The Cleaning Lady – an American TV series which stars Cambodian-French Hollywood actress Elodie Yung – sheds some light on Asian immigrants to the US, yet a significant representation gap of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) exists both on screen and behind

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of