Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official in land dispute with PM’s sister arrested



Official in land dispute with PM’s sister arrested

Santuk District Deputy Governor Im Chhorn (right) is escorted into Prey Sar prison last week in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
Santuk District Deputy Governor Im Chhorn (right) is escorted into Prey Sar prison last week in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Official in land dispute with PM’s sister arrested

A deputy district governor in Kampong Thom has been charged with fraud over a $2 million land deal with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s sister, Hun Seng Ny, a court official said yesterday.

Im Chhorn, the deputy governor of Santuk district, was arrested last week following a complaint lodged by the prominent businesswoman and has been detained in Prey Sar prison to await trial, according to Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Y Rin.

Chhorn was charged with fraud on Thursday and now faces up to three years in jail, the spokesman said, for allegedly failing to deliver a land title to Seng Ny after striking a deal in 2015 to provide 1,500 hectares of land in exchange for more than $2 million.

According to local media reports, Chhorn claimed he had bought the land and transferred the documents marking the sale to Seng Ny last year but that the title had not been arranged yet because Land Ministry officials were preoccupied with the June 4 commune elections.

Santuk District Governor Yuos Panharith yesterday repeated this defence and said that the land itself had already been handed to Seng Ny. “I do not know [why Chhorn was accused], because the 1,500 hectares of land were given to Hun Seng Ny already by Im Chhorn’s team and at this time, her company is developing on the land,” he said.

Seng Ny could not be reached for comment.

San Chey, head of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said he believed that government officials should not act as brokers in private land transfers because it could create a a conflict of interest when they or their colleagues are called upon to resolve such disputes.

“I think that if the case is related to the individual interest, and in case it relates to the power abuse, it could fall under the case of corruption too,” Chey said.

“I think government officials should stay away from this case. Because of their power, their position may affect the decision-making of the citizens.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he