Preah Neth Preah district military police in Banteay Meanchey province on Tuesday arrested two businessmen for carrying out illegal excavation work on Phnom Sres.
Major Sin Rasy, district military police commander, yesterday identified the suspects as Doun Thoeun, 40, and Phorn Phea, 29, from the province’s Monkul Borey district.
“We arrested them on Tuesday and sent them to provincial military police headquarters for further action yesterday,” he said. “Local residents complained about their activities to provincial military police and the provincial department of mines.”
Maj Rasy said both men were arrested red-handed while they were excavating part of the mountain without permission.
A provincial mine department officer said the suspects were also caught excavating the mountain on October 12 and that department officers had let them off after they signed an undertaking not to repeat the offence.
He noted that the suspects broke the promise and continued excavations leading to their arrests on Tuesday.
Colonel Men Phirom, deputy provincial military commander, said both suspects confessed to the crime and were sent to court for questioning on Wednesday.
“Officers from the provincial department of mines caught them red-handed before and warned them,” he said. “But they continued to commit the crime and said that their boss told them he had permission to excavate from relevant authorities.”
Meas Chanpiseth, a provincial court prosecutor who was at the scene of arrests, and court spokesman Sok Keo Bandith could not be reached for comment yesterday.