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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Performers cry foul in Canada

Performers cry foul in Canada

Performers cry foul in Canada

Five Cambodian singers invited to tour Canada have issued a letter of complaint against the tour promoter, charging him with fraud and mistreatment.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post, includes the thumb prints of the five singers: Sou Sophea,  Sam Polyda, Chan Daraty,  Samnang David and Sos Mach, and is addressed to the Canadian ambassador to Cambodia, who is based in Bangkok.

The singers were invited to tour Canada by Poun Tun, also identified as Khun David, who claims to head a Khmer-Cambodian charity, according to the letter.

“We all who arrived [in Canada] one by one were abused … physically and emotionally including taking our passports from us so that we could not go out … providing us not enough food to eat and forcing us to work overtime,” the letter stated.

The letter further charges Khun David with falsely promoting the concert series as a fund-raising venture to provide aid for children living in poverty and living with HIV.

Samnang David said on Monday that Khun David frequently invited actors and singers to Canada for charity fund-raisers geared towards the Cambodian community but kept the profits for himself.

“He did not take the money to help vulnerable children with HIV/AIDS,” she said, adding that his seizure of the singers’ passports have left them unable to travel.

The letter further urged the Canadian ambassador in Bangkok to deny any future visa applications sought by Khun David to bring Cambodian performers to Canada.

Another singer, Pich Sophea, said on Monday that she did not include her name and thumb print on the letter because she had since returned to Cambodia and had resolved her dispute with Khun David.

In November Pich Sophea denied accusations by Khun David that she breached her contract by refusing to continue performing in Canada.

“I was invited there for two weeks and sang four times. When I finished, he wanted me to delay my staying to find money for his own benefit,” she said in November.

Khun David could not be reached for comment.

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