Authorities in Takeo province’s Traing district closed a prahok production facility on Sunday over the use of prohibited chemicals and seized more than a tonne of fish.
District police chief Phan Phal said an investigation by Camcontrol found that the facility, which had just been set up, was using fish containing harmful chemicals to make the fermented fish paste.
“We cooperated with the provincial Camcontrol chief and other authorities. The facility is in Angkanh commune,” he said. “The discovery followed an investigation by Camcontrol to see if the prahok was tainted with chemicals or not.”
“The owner did not resist us because we had all the legal requirements. We are waiting to follow orders,” he added.
Provincial Camcontrol chief Por Leangkong said the facility has now been shuttered, while action taken against the owner will be up to the court prosecutor.
“The relevant authorities and I went to the facility along with the prosecutor. I am preparing to send the case to court. We found 1,120 kilograms of prahok contaminated with formalin, which keeps the fish fresh for a long time but affects our health in many ways,” he said.
Mr Leangkong said the prahok production facility, which was two houses connected together, had just one owner.
“Ordinary citizens tipped us off about the facility, which used two types of fish. One type was from Kampong Chhnang province while the other type was imported from Vietnam,” he said.
“However, we did not find any formalin in the fish from Kampong Chhnang province, only from the fish imported from Vietnam. The prosecutor ordered the facility closed.”
The contaminated prahok is now being kept at the Angkanh commune office, pending the prosecutor’s decision to destroy it, according to Mr Leangkong.