Feb 3, 2011
Phnom Penh - A Cambodian villager claimed police and a local butcher colluded to try and confiscate a tasty home-grown pig he had prepared for a Chinese New Year feast, local media reported Thursday.
Yam Bo told the Phnom Penh Post newspaper he had strapped the 14-kilogram roasted porker to his motorbike Wednesday and was driving to his niece's home when he was stopped in the western town of Battambang.
'Four police officers and several staff members from the butcher's shop demanded 100 dollars because they said I was transporting a pig without a letter of permission (from the local butcher),' he said of the incident, which took place just ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations starting Wednesday evening.
After the owner of the butcher's shop reportedly threatened to have him handcuffed, Yam Bo coughed up 50 dollars to ensure he got the main meal to the celebration on time.
The deputy police chief of Battambang said he had heard his officers had tried to detain Yam Bo, but did not know the reason.
And he confirmed that villagers who raised and prepared their own pigs did not need to pay fees to the local butcher.
Corruption is rampant in Cambodia, and a nationwide survey released in January showed one-third of the interviewees had seen police taking bribes within the past six months.
Thursday marks the start of the Chinese New Year, a popular holiday in Cambodia, where many people share Chinese heritage.