Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Environment official in court on fraud charges

Environment official in court on fraud charges

Environment official in court on fraud charges

A senior Environment Ministry official was tried in absentia by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, over allegations that he embezzled $2.6 million from a French-Cambodian businessman.

Judge Kor Vandy said Suon Mean, 47, an official at the Ministry of Environment and chairman of the Suon Mean Sambath Company, had been charged with fraud, and could face up to five years in prison.

The plaintiff, Eab Pai, 49, told the court that he approached Mean in 2011 with the intention of securing an economic land concession in Mondulkiri province.

Pai says he secured the land after paying Mean $2.6 million and planted rubber, only to have it seized by the government as it was in a protected area.

“[Mean] knew that the [land] . . . was located in a wildlife conservation area,” he said. Pai says he is seeking $3.7 million. Mean’s lawyer, Leng Lyhour, contended no fraud occurred. A verdict is due on October 9.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding