The Apsara Authority yesterday warned that it will take legal action against Facebook users who advertise land for sale located in the Angkor Archaeological Park.
Apsara Authority spokesman Long Kosal said some Facebook account owners have advertised land for sale at the site which is illegal.
He said that to maintain sustainable conservation and development of the Angkor area, the Apsara Authority calls on these Facebook users to stop such activities immediately or face legal action.
“If these people do not stop this activity or continue to announce land sales in other locations in the heritage site [Angkor area], we will take legal action,” Mr Kosal said. “We will file lawsuits against those individuals who violate the law.”
Facebook accounts that have announced land sales in the Angkor area include Ta Norn Estate, Sam Angkor Realty, Land for Sale, Mak Lyheng, 3Brothers Property, Boom Boom and 25 Outlet Store.
Mr Kosal said that the Apsara Authority has so far not been able to clearly identify the individuals behind the advertisements, noting that officials are educating the public that it is illegal to buy or sell land in the area and to be wary about purported sales.
“When we saw the posts to sell land in the area, we became concerned that unsuspecting people will buy land in the protected area and get angry with the authority when they are evicted,” he added.
Phan Rina, a resident of Siem Reap province’s Siem Reap city, yesterday said she supported Apsara Authority’s decision to take legal action against those who sell land in protected areas.
She also requested the authority to make more people aware of the issue so that they would not fall victim to illegal land sales.
“It will be good if there is widespread dissemination about this issue or if the authority clearly demarcates protected land which cannot be bought,” Ms Rina said. “I think those who want to buy land in Siem Reap are from the capital or other provinces and will not fall for the scams if they visit plots being advertised and see signboards demarcating protected land.”
According to the Apsara Authority, protected land in the Angkor site includes areas that have monuments or are archaeological reserves.
It noted that a royal decree issued on November 16, 2004 strictly forbids the sale of land in these protected areas.