A US$28 million warehouse, in which Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit will store its tanks and military vehicles, was opened yesterday.
Hundreds of high-ranking military officials attended the official inauguration of the storehouse in Takhmao town in Kandal province yesterday, with the head of the bodyguard unit vowing to support Hun Sen in the 2013 elections and ensure the safety of his family.
“We are all determined to ensure the safety of Prime Minister Hun Sen,” said Hing Bunheang yesterday.
He added that tanks, armoured vehicles and other military equipment would be stored at the warehouse thanks to donations from tycoons and the governments of Vietnam, China and Korea.
Official statistics detailing the number of bodyguards is not available. But a participant in the inauguration, who did not want to be named, said yesterday that hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles were being kept at the store.
The strength of the unit has drawn criticism from opposition parties.
Yim Sovann, a lawmaker from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said: “I have never seen country leaders in the world have as many bodyguards surrounding themselves as has Hun Sen.”
“I think that spending the national budget to support many bodyguards would impact the living conditions of the poor and create more corruption in the country,” he added.