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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cults official arrested over long unpaid debt

Cults official arrested over long unpaid debt

An official from the Ministry of Cults and Religion was arrested in Kampot’s Angkor Chey district on Wednesday for alleged breach of trust after he was accused of defaulting on a payment owed to a construction material supplier from more than two years ago.

Tany commune police chief Touch Sareth said that Neak Sambo, an undersecretary of state at the ministry, defaulted on a payment in March 2014 for building materials from a supplier – managed by a man identified only as “Toh” – needed for the local Angponleur pagoda.

“He has owed the money for years,” Sareth said.

Local media reported that the materials were worth $200,000, but authorities reached yesterday could not confirm the amount.

An arrest warrant was issued in July of last year, according to Sareth, but no arrest was made until Wednesday, when Sambo was found at his parents’ home by military police.

Sareth said he had seen the warrant “months ago” but could not locate Sambo as he “rarely visited home”.

“I informed his parents about the warrant as he was not home [at the time I visited],” he said.

Ministry of Cults and Religion spokesman Seng Simony said he had not heard of the case and was still awaiting a report from provincial authorities.

Military police could not be reached for comment.

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