Officials with the Preah Vihear Land Management Department last week measured plots of land for 16 of the 56 families who last month filed a petition seeking intervention in a land dispute with gold mining firm Delcom.

Pong Sengching, a member of one of the families whose land didn’t get measured, said a group of 10 officials on Thursday and Friday went to the area and decided that 40 of the families didn’t have sufficient documentation supporting their claim to the land.

“It’s not clear to me” how officials are making their determinations, said Sengching, who says he’s lived in the area since 1997. “I’m starting to get worried about that.”

Uk Nga, Trapang Tontem village chief, said most people were absent when authorities inspected the site, and questioned the veracity of their claims, suggesting some who filed a petition were “migrants”.

Nga said the next step will be decided by the Land Management Department.

A Preah Vihear land management official, who declined to give this name, said the department expected to get a report on the case today.