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BGU rejects RFA claims

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Hing Bun Heang, chief of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (second from left), at a celebration for the eighth anniversary of the force’s formation in September. supplied

BGU rejects RFA claims

ON Thursday, Radio Free Asia (RFA) broadcasted claims by Human Rights Watch’s Asia division director, Brad Adams, that the head of the Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit (BGU), General Hing Bun Heang, has significant assets in Cambodia and money hidden in Singapore.

However, the claims have since been rejected as “slanderous”, according to a statement seen by The Post on Sunday.

“Indeed, many people have told me that Hing Bun Heang has assets overseas such as in Singapore, while for the assets in his country, Hing Bun Heang has a very big house. How can he have money to build a very big house on a government salary? If he has no money in the bank, does he keep money in a bag or under a mattress? I believe that he really deposits his money in a bank,” Adams had said.

Last week, Bun Heang, who was hit by US Treasury Department sanctions that included denial of a US visa and a freeze on assets in the US, responded by saying he did not have assets in that country and that all his extra money went towards development projects in the Kingdom.

A statement issued by the BGU calls Adams’s remarks “slanderous” and meant to tarnish Bun Heang’s reputation.

“It is a silly and cheap allegation. Radio Free Asia and Brad Adams are interfering in the internal affairs of Cambodia to boost their popularity and place a burden on a senior general in Cambodia without valid grounds".

“[Bun Heang] does not even have money in Cambodian banks, so there is even less than nothing in Singapore. If anyone sees that His Excellency has assets in Singapore, please show us. In Cambodia, [Bun Heang] has no businesses. Does His Excellency have any overseas?” the statement asked.

The statement further says that Bun Heang’s achievements in Cambodia include building pagodas, schools, roads, canals and three stupas.

“I would like to clarify again and again that obviously [Bun Heang] will absolutely prevent and fight against any action and intention of organising a colour revolution in Cambodia which foreigners are behind,” it says.

The statement added that Bun Heang is committed to protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Kingdom and will not allow any foreigner to violate that, especially “traitors”.

The US statement released on June 12 stated that the Bun Heang-led BGU had been involved in many human rights violations against peaceful demonstrators.

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