Mu Sochua, the head of public affairs for the opposition CNRP, visited Battambang City’s Old Bridge on Saturday to investigate reports that Vietnamese men had been seen digging for treasure there.
Ms. Sochua, who is also a lawmaker-elect, wrote in a post on her Facebook page that she had gone to the scene to “prevent the Vietnamese from trying to look for buried gold” at the site.
Reached Sunday, she clarified that she had gone to the site because residents of the city were worried that there was buried treasure underneath the bridge and that the men doing the work appeared to be Vietnamese. Ms. Sochua also said she was concerned that soldiers were blocking people off from the area where men were digging.
“There were three Vietnamese digging the soil with hoes,” she said. “The depth [of the hole] was about two meters, and the width was about the size of one person.”
“Next week, I will write a letter to the representatives that won provincial polls and ask the provincial governor to clarify the digging,” she added.
Last year, six Vietnamese nationals were arrested in Battambang City for digging up an ammunition box filled with gold they buried there three decades ago, when they were stationed in Cambodia fighting against the Khmer Rouge.
Provincial governor Chan Sophal denied that there had been any nefarious intent behind the digging and said he had simply ordered the provincial public works office to do repairs on the bridge on Saturday.
“I ordered the public works office to order the workers to fix the old places which had the water flowing in, and I was afraid the stone lion heads [on the bridge] were broken,” he added.
pisey@cambodiadaily.com
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