A fire burned through 45 hectares of sugarcane plantation belonging to three companies in Svay Rieng province’s Svay Tiep district on Tuesday, with one company representative suspecting that the fire was intentionally set.
Kong Sokun, deputy director of Eastern Rice Field Development Co Ltd, said about half of the land affected in Koki Som commune belonged to his company, with the other half belonging to businessmen Tep Saveth and Dai Samnang.
“We’ve asked the authorities to intervene and investigate since we suspect that someone might have set the fire on the plantation,” Sokun said.
Sao Nimith, acting Koki Som commune police chief, said authorities are investigating, but he suspected the fire could have been caused by carelessness, or by another company burning off its fields to ease harvesting.
Sokun, however, contested the latter explanation, saying that burning lowers the crops’ sweetness and lowers their value.
Saveth yesterday said he was unaware of the fire. No contact information was available for Dai Samnang.