Authorities have closed down an illegal chrome-plating workshop in Phnom Penh after neighbours complained that fumes were affecting their health.
Police from the Interior Ministry’s anti-economic crime department, along with environmental officials and local authorities in Prampi Makara district, shut the operation after inspecting the workshop on Monday.
Authorities said after the inspection that the workshop did not have a permits from government bodies, and neighbours had filed a complaint because the environmental disturbance affected their health.
A Monorom commune officer who gave his name as Ang said the complaint about air pollution from people nearby prompted authorities to examine the premises. It was found not to have a licence, he noted.
“The officers from the Ministry of Interior, Environment Ministry and our forces went and checked the place,” he said. “People filed the complaint and said they wanted the workshop moved elsewhere. The people complained that it had a bad smell affecting their health.”
“There was only one owner involved and the business had just started,” he added. “I heard he had a licence for the business elsewhere but he had not received a licence for his new business location.”
The anti-economic crime department identified the owner as Sam Phal, 37, who was called in for questioning and was ordered to request a proper licence before restarting the business.
Department officer Mak Chisos said the illegal business caused toxic air pollution which affected people’s health.
“It is a chrome workshop which offered plating services on screws and bolts and it caused a bad smell for neighbours and they filed a complaint with us,” he said. “We found out that this kind of workshop should not be located in such a crowded place.”
“It should be somewhere that has air flow to make sure that it does not affect the health of people nearby,” he added. “We don’t know if he will find a way to seek permission to build the workshop elsewhere, but we just know that the business was shut down and was not allowed to stay there any longer.”