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‘Fleeing’ Chea Sim staffer arrested

A fifth official with close links to Senate President Chea Sim was arrested yesterday on accusations of forgery during an alleged attempt to flee the country.

Spokesman for the national military police Kheng Tito said Chea Sim’s chief of protocol, Kunthea Borey, was arrested in Koh Kong province as she attempted to exit the country and was then flown to Phnom Penh for questioning.

“She was arrested over the production of false documents. She was arrested based on a warrant for arrest from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s prosecutor,” he said yesterday.

Kheng Tito declined to provide details of the allegations against Kunthea Borey but said the arrest was probably made based on answers from the chief of Chea Sim’s bodyguard unit, Chhoeun Chanthan, who was arrested last month.  

He was charged with forging and using public documents as well as illegal possession of weapons and illegally issuing weapon licences on August 16. At the time of his arrest, military police said they had confiscated 12 guns and 1,420 bullets during a raid on his property.

In addition, two former Chea Sim advisers – Police Lieutenant General Chan Kosal, 60, and former Cabinet member Khieu Bora, 50 – were  arrested on  Friday on accusations of forgery, according to local media reports.

Lieutenant General Ponlork Ho, 58, also a former adviser, was reportedly arrested on Sunday on similar charges.

Mom Sarin, Chea Sim's cabinet chief, Chiv Keng, president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, and Yeth Chakriya, chief prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Kunthea Borey has been detained for questioning at the military police headquarters in Phnom Penh, Kheng Tito said.

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