via Phnom Penh Post, 05 Jan 2020: Reported looting of stone pillars by armed soldiers and Vietnamese nationals in Mondulkiri province.
A group of armed soldiers and three villagers colluded to sell ancient stone pillars to three Vietnamese nationals, claimed activist Kroeung Tola.
The stone pillars were located in Bou Sra commune’s Lum Mes village in Mondulkiri province, he said.
Tola said last Thursday that he, some community members and three Bou Sra commune police officials acted on a tip that a group of Cambodian soldiers and villagers had conspired to excavate, sell and transport the pillars to Vietnam.
“The pillars are hundreds of years old, between 40-60cm in diameter, and up to four metres long,” Tola said.
He said there are thousands of stone pillars in the area, located some 40km from the Cambodia-Vietnam border.
One pillar, he said, could be worth several thousand dollars and is sometimes used to craft furniture or decorate homes in Vietnam.