A father and son have been charged with impersonating assistants of high-ranking officials within Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet to extort money from genuine government and police officials, a military police official said yesterday.
At a news conference, Colonel Kong Sotharin, chief of the National Military Police, said Suon Mony Lina, 26, also known as Chivoan or Mab, and his father, Suon Mony, 51, had been charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor with “faking a public function and fraud”.
“They have [misrepresented] themselves as personal assistants to His Excellency Mr Ngeth Borey, deputy chief of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet, and assistants to His Excellency Mr Sean Borath, an adviser of Prime Minister Hun Sen and other high-ranking government officials,” he said.
“They have used these high-ranking officials’ names to [ask for] money or . . . other materials from other government officers, police and National Military Police officers [which they claimed was for] building schools or health centres for the poor in exchange for promotions,” he added.
According to Sotha, Mony Lina was arrested by National Military Police forces in Svay Rieng town on Friday while he was attempting to withdraw around $700 transferred to him by a government official in the province.
Mony Lina’s father, the deputy editor-in-chief of Kakti Khmer Newspaper, is still at large.
At the press conference, which was held at the National Military Police headquarters, Mony Lina confessed but said that his father shouldered most of the blame.
“The reason I decided to get into this business was because I was recommended and told to by my father,” he said.
“I have received money from government officers . . . from $200 up to $1,000 at a time,” he said, adding that his involvement in the scam began earlier this year.
Mony could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Ly Sophanna, spokesman for Phnom Penh Municipal Court, also could not be reached.