Thach Setha, the outspoken vice-president of the Candlelight Party (CP), was detained on January 16 on an arrest warrant issued by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court earlier that day for writing out several cheques that bounced.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the arrest came after Setha failed to appear for questioning twice over a complaint lodged by Rin Chhay Pawnshop on November 26, 2019. It noted that Setha did not comply with two separate summonses, the first of which was issued on February 28, 2021, and the other on June 22 that year.

Setha was formerly a lawmaker from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) before joining the CP in 2021 ahead of the June 5 commune council elections last year.