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Angkor corruption alleged

Angkor corruption alleged

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An anonymous group on Saturday filed a corruption complaint with the Anti-Corruption Unit against senator Sok Kong’s Sokimex company’s management of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

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The complaint, dated March 10, alleges Sokimex has siphoned the majority of funds recouped from tourist entrance fees to the world heritage site and that the contract between the government and Sokimex is “irregular” and lacks transparency.

“If [ACU head Om Yentieng] does not take legal action and investigate, this means that [Om Yentieng] and Prime Minister Hun Sen are leaders who are as corrupt as [Sokimex] too, it is like a proverb saying ‘a toad selling ringworm medicine’,” the complaint states.

Om Yentieng could not be reached for comment yesterday, but ACU spokesman Keo Remy welcomed the complaint filed by anonymous people and guaranteed that despite the anonymity of the complaint, an investigation would ensue if it was worthy.

“Take action or not take action, normally [we] know [our selves] what to do. I guarantee our work is very good,” he said, declining to comment any further until he had “received and read the complaint himself”.

Cambodian People’s Party senator Sok Kong, also director general of the Sokimex Company, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Bun Narith, general director of APSARA Authority, which oversees conservation efforts at the Angkor Wat temple complex, dismissed the allegations as baseless.

“Law experts prepared the contract and there were also IMF representatives participating in making the contract [between the government and Sokimex],” Bun Narith said.

When asked how much revenue Sok Kong’s company gains per annum from Angkor Wat, Bun Narith declined to comment in detail, but said that in 2011, both shareholders in Sokimex and the government received more than US$40 million.

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