PM in-law ordered to shut down cockfighting ring

    An in-law of one of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s brothers has been ordered again to shut down the cockfighting ring at his Lvea Em district home.

    The son-in-law, Thay Mab, was asked in May to close down operations after an article about the cockfighting operation was published in The Cambodia Daily.

    However, when reporters recently visited the location, they found the operations to be in full swing, with gamblers putting down hundreds to thousands of dollars in bets.

    “We ordered police to shut down the cockfighting ring a month ago, and [the owners] made a contract with us to stop playing because it is gambling,” said Kandal provincial governor Mao Phirun. “I will send my police to check whether they are still holding cockfights there. If they are still playing, we will arrest them and send them to court because they would be breaking the contract.”

    Mab said he had complied with the governor’s order to shut it down a month ago and denied that there was ever any gambling there, saying the fights were only “for fun.”

    However on Monday, manager of the ring, Nang said it was still hosting cockfights on Thursdays and Saturdays.

    “We still play in secret two days a week,” he said.

    Mab said he had since opened a new ring at a casino near the Vietnam border, insisting the new operation near the Vietnam border is legal.

    “Authorities have no right to shut the ring down,” he said. “I opened the cockfighting ring at the casino in Tbong Khmum for foreigners only, not for Khmer people. Samdech Hun Sen banned Khmer people only, but the foreigners can come to play.”