Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association

NagaWorld Strikers Raise Concerns for Their Safety After a Grenade is Found Near the Casino

CMAC officers collect shrapnel after exploding a grenade discovered near NagaWorld 2, December 15, 2022. CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpoan
CMAC officers collect shrapnel after exploding a grenade discovered near NagaWorld 2, December 15, 2022. CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpoan

Authorities on Thursday said that a grenade was found near NagaWorld 2, raising security concerns among striking casino workers. 

According to Interior Ministry spokesperson, Khieu Sopheak, the grenade was wrapped up with a cake inside a package that was found  by a streetcleaner on Rathasaphea Street across from the casino. 

“Our cleaner went to clean the trash there in the morning, she saw a package [along the road] and moved the package into the garden to sweep, but was quite suspicious and reported it to the authorities, and the authorities reported it to CMAC,” Sopheak said.

CMAC officials destroyed the grenade Thursday morning. Police believe the grenade was dropped by someone who drove past in a luxury vehicle and are searching for the owner. 

“We are investigating… we have the license plate and see that [the grenade was] dropped from the car.”

NagaWorld strikers, who often strike in front of NagaWorld 2, expressed concern for their safety after hearing about the grenade. It comes just days before a planned demonstration on December 18, marking one year since the casino laid off 1300 workers. More than 100 are still fighting for a solution.

Striker Sok Ratana said the grenade would not deter the strikers. 

“We do not know what their intentions are, we are worried, but we are still gathering for a solution,” she said.

Chhim Sokhon, vice president of the LRSU union, said she believed the grenade was intended to scare strikers.

“The explosives were about threatening lives and I was shocked to see a bomb near the strike site. It was a very threatening intention. Before there were guns. Now there is a bomb,” she said, referring to guns found in a nearby location last month.

Am Sam Ath, LICADHO’s director of operation, urged the authorities to investigate the case to ensure social security.

“Every week, strikers gather for labor disputes and the discovery of a bomb in front of NagaWorld raises concerns about the safety and security of the strikers,” said Sam Ath.

Sam Ath said he believed the grenade was unrelated to the strike, but said it made sense strikers would be fearful. 

“The bomb is unrelated to the NagaWorld workers and former employees; but it is an act of anxiety for them. To prevent intimidation, the government should step up security, “he said.

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