Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Abuse allegations dog latest oknha honouree

Abuse allegations dog latest oknha honouree

Abuse allegations dog latest oknha honouree

A wealthy tycoon who stands accused of savagely abusing two teenage maids for nearly a decade has been anointed with the sought-after honourific of oknha.

In a royal decree dated July 26 and obtained yesterday, Veng Lyphytech – who, along with his wife, Ly Pov, faces charges of torture and child labour abuse – is granted the royal title.

Rights workers said ignorance of the case, which saw two 17-year-old girls allege years of abuse after fleeing the tycoon’s Tuol Kork mansion, could be the only reason the title would have been approved.

“I think that the reason the King signed the royal decree appointing him as an oknha is that maybe the King did not know about his background,” said Chan Soveth, senior investigator for Adhoc.

“He has made it in accordance with the request of the government official who has prepared it for him. The appointment [to oknha] of any rich person who is involved in child labour abuse or who has been accused of any crime … seriously affects the reputation of Cambodia,” Soveth said.

There are more than 200 oknhas in Cambodia – wealthy men and women who are expected to aim their largess toward the ruling party and its charity projects. Though the government is mum on the requirements of the title, analysts have said the honourific can be granted only after a $100,000-plus infrastructure donation.

Te Sam Ang, investigating judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said the case against Lyphytech and his wife was still being prepared for trial.

“The court has not yet completed its investigation into this case,” he said.

According to Major General Pol Pithey, chief of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, the couple had been charged over the alleged abuse

“Our police are now seeking to arrest [Pov], so we can bring her in to face justice,” he said, adding Lyphytech had been granted bail.

In June, Dy Proem 51, a cousin to Prime Minister Hun Sen, who was convicted in absentia and sentenced to two and a half years in prison in 2011 and never arrested, was granted the title of oknha.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol