Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 3 December 2004

The Gecko: 3 December 2004

The Gecko: 3 December 2004


Civil Servant of the Month Award goes to Police Major Tho Sreng, Chief of Visa Service

at the Phnom Penh International Airport.

An ex-Australian diplomat inadvertently left his wallet, which included plane tickets

and almost $1,200 in cash, at the airport on November 11. Returning the same day,

the ex-envoy discovered that Major Sreng had found the wallet and was more than delighted

to return it. He insisted that the money be counted before the owner signed for the

items, and refused to accept an offer of a $50 reward for his efforts.

A source at the Australian embassy believes that Major Sreng may have even participated

in a "good governance" course in Australia some years back.

** Heartiest congratulations to the World Monument Fund's John Sanday, who was awarded

an Order of the British Empire award on November 25 for his work in preserving Cambodia's

historic monuments in the Angkor area.

Sanday came to Cambodia in 1989 and has been at it ever since, shuttling between

both here and Nepal.

The OBE was presented by outgoing British Ambassador Stephen Bridges at his last

official ceremony at the British residence. Sanday said the award really belonged

to his entire team and that it was "a very humbling experience to receive an

award like this."

** Palace watchers note with interest that one of King Sihamoni's first substantial

efforts to help the poor was via a donation of 35 tons of rice-given to Mu Sochua

so that she could oversee its distribution to hungry peasants in Kampong Speu.

** Readers may recall that Lauryn Galindo, the American woman convicted in Seattle

on Nov 20 of a variety of adoption-related scams and sentenced to 18 months in jail,

was a harsh critic of PPPost reporting on her organization almost four years ago,

accusing our coverage of being sensationalist and riddled with inaccuracies. There

was a flurry of vitriol on an adoption chat line, where the PPPost was even accused

of "being in league with the Devil".

One of the factoids that came out in the open during Galindo's trial was that she

had set up a shell company in Samoa called Lakshmi, named after the Hindu Goddess

of Wealth. Court records indicate the company Lakshmi bought a $78,000 Jaguar and

then leased it back to Galindo, no doubt to help with her "adoption work".

Her adoption operations were described by one US Immigration official as "a

scheme that treated hundreds of children as nothing more than commodities."


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release