Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Seventeen NGO staffers arrested for alleged extortion

Seventeen NGO staffers arrested for alleged extortion

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Fourteen of the 17 suspects arrested in Pursat province for allegedly setting up unauthorised checkpoints and extorting money from locals. Fresh News

Seventeen NGO staffers arrested for alleged extortion

Seventeen members of a purportedly fraudulent NGO were arrested on Tuesday night for allegedly setting up unauthorised checkpoints across Pursat province, according to police.

Fourteen arrests were carried out around 10pm in Veal Veng district’s Pramuoy commune, District Police Chief Theang Leng said. The individuals were affiliated with a group called “Cambodia Protects of Environment and Human Rights Organisation”, Leng said.

“They put up this anarchic checkpoint and extorted money from people who transported timber for building their houses. They stopped motorbikes and trucks that transported such timer and asked for money,” he said. “Some of their members [also] chased the trucks or motorbikes.

“They had their uniforms, and this made people believe” they were legitimate, he said, noting they demanded 100,000 to 200,000 riel (about $25 to $50) at a time.

Three other individuals were arrested in neighbouring Phnom Kravanh district, in Pursat, he said, adding that the group had been warned prior to Khmer New Year to cease their activities and had signed a pledge to do so. While the group was legally registered as an NGO, Leng said, police intervened after complaints from villagers about their alleged improper conduct.

“They stand there day and night,” he said, adding that one suspect, Nhem Phai Mony, identified himself as the “regional chief” of the NGO.

As of Thursday afternoon, 14 of the suspects were being questioned at the district police office before being sent to the provincial office, where the three others arrested in Phnom Kravanh are being held.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,