The body that oversees the ancient Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia has said it detained four Chinese nationals this week for alleged drilling at the site.
Long Kosal, the Apsara Authority’s spokesman, said that the men were construction workers employed by a Chinese company that was contracted to study the restoration of the site’s waterways, but they did not inform the authorities before they started drilling at the site.
“They are working on waterway restoration from the Mekong River to the Tonle Sap Lake, but they did not contact the Apsara Authority or sent in the request in order to set the location to measure the Tonle Sap Lake. They just came and drilled,” he said.
Nuon Than, deputy director of the Heritage Protection Police, and Keat Bun Than, director of the same unit, declined to comment on the case.
The China Embassy could not be reached for comment.
Meas Ny, a social development researcher, claimed the Apsara Authority had been irresponsible and negligent in performing their duties.
“Most importantly is the implementation of the law. It means that the relevant authorities must fulfill their responsibility, so if there is anyone who abuses the law...it degrades every institution,” he said.
The numbers of Chinese immigrants in Cambodia has reportedly increased dramatically in recent years along with a flood of Chinese investment in the country.
This has prompted fears over rising crime and impacts on Cambodian businesses, leading a senior Chinese official to call on Prime Minister Hun Sen to protect Chinese nationals in Cambodia.