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Cambodian Army Protest Casino Project

28 July 2004

CAMBODIA – As reported by the Bangkok Post: "The army has protested against a casino complex being built just inside Cambodia near the Chong Sa-ngarm border checkpoint in Si Sa Ket.

"The army has protested against a casino complex being built just inside Cambodia near the Chong Sa-ngarm border checkpoint in Si Sa Ket.

"…Maj-Gen Dusit Krueyai, chief of the Thai-Cambodia coordinating office, said a memorandum of understanding signed on June 14, 2000, prohibited new construction near the border without the agreement of both governments until the frontier was properly marked.

"…On July 12, Pracha Khunakasem, adviser to the foreign minister, and Wa Kim Hong, adviser to the Cambodian foreign minister, had inspected the disputed area and concluded the casino's construction was a breach of the MoU, he said. They had agreed that construction must stop pending a meeting between the two sides.

"…Col Jeerasak Chomprasop, deputy commander of Suranaree Task Force, said the MoU was merely a gentleman's agreement and the army could do little more than send a protest letter.

"… A source said the casino was expected to be completed in the next few months. It was being built by an affiliate of Star Vegas Co, which operates another casino in Cambodia's Poipet town opposite Ban Klongluek in Sa Kaeo's Aranyaprathet district. Thai businessman Sombun Charoensukkraisri, owner of Star Vegas Co, had invested in the 300-million-baht casino opposite Si Sa Ket in partnership with a Cambodian military officer, Lt-Gen Tia Sot…"

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