Authorities in Sihanoukville have threatened legal action against the owners of 10 recently constructed buildings, a number of which house casinos, unless they follow recent orders to demolish them.
According to the Phnom Penh Post, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor Kuoch Chamroeun issued demolition orders to 14 building owners in Sihanoukville last month after they were deemed unsafe, but only four have complied so far. Another 70 buildings are still undergoing technical examinations, with a total of 500 having been inspected following the collapse of a building in June that killed 18 people.
“The remaining 10 [buildings] have not been removed, so we called the owners in on Monday to have them remove them immediately,” said spokesman Kheang Phearum.
“We have also warned them that we will take action if they do not tear them down. We will take legal action, and enforce the court’s verdict. The owners will face further penalties.
“The provincial administration is resolute in its stance that no one should obstruct [the legal process]. These buildings – which are in violation of technical standards – must be removed.
The local government has reportedly offered to work with the building owners on designing and developing new buildings that meet technical standards.
As reported by Inside Asian Gaming last week, Sihanoukville is also experiencing a mass exodus of Chinese nationals following news that online gaming licenses would not be renewed, with around 10,000 said to have returned to China in just a few days last week.