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Lawmakers going to Siem Reap

Parliamentary investigators will visit Siem Reap province on a wide-ranging fact-finding mission from Sunday following complaints about alleged corruption and misuse of funds.

Son Chhay, an opposition MP who is vice chairman of the National Assembly’s Commission on Economics, Finance, Banking and Auditing, said the group would expect full cooperation with the three-day investigation from all those involved.

“I think it is appropriate for them to provide us with all the documents and contracts as it’s an official mission,” he said.

The commission is seeking hard evidence of the use of funds by Sokimex, the company owned by tycoon Sok Kong that was awarded a contract by the Apsara Authority to collect ticket fares from visitors to the Angkor Wat temples. “We are looking at how Apsara rents land to Sok Kong to build hotels,” Chhay added.

Sokimex could not be immediately reached.

“Then we will look into the governor of Siem Reap; how he spends his budget, because he gets an extra budget from tickets. We want to know how the money was spent,” Chhay said.

Khim Bun Song, the governor of Siem Reap, said he would meet with the commission.

Chhay said the group would also investigate alleged land speculation by officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.

“We’re also looking at some senior government officials who bought land some years ago and forced people out, then sold the land for [inflated] prices. We will look next at the airport authority, how they make their revenue from the airport.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY THIK KALIYANN

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