Property tycoon Sok Bun has resigned as director of joint ventures between his company and Singaporean partner TEHO International, amid ongoing controversy over footage showing him viciously attacking a female TV host earlier this month.
In a statement dated July 10 and published on their website, TEHO International said Bun had “agreed to resign . . . due to personal reasons with immediate effect”.
Despite Bun’s resignation, it is unlikely TEHO International will cut ties with him altogether.
Cambodian law dictates that foreign companies cannot be majority shareholders of land, meaning TEHO International could only end dealings with him by abandoning the developments, including a $500 million hotel and residential project on the capital’s Chroy Changvar peninsula known as “The Bay”, or persuading him to sell his 51 per cent stake to another local investor.
In an email, the company yesterday said: “Recent developments have prompted TEHO International Inc. Ltd. to move forward with ‘The Bay’ project without Mr Sok Bun involved in the day-to-day operations of the project. TEHO International Inc. Ltd. is committed to ensuring ‘The Bay’ will be a success and a new director in Cambodia will be introduced in the near future.”
Bun is currently thought to be in Singapore, having reportedly fled there on July 8, a day after the video circulated widely on social media and was publicised on national television.
The images show him repeatedly punching and kicking former TV presenter Ek Socheata in the head at a Phnom Penh restaurant after she apparently attempted to stop him dragging her inebriated friend away against her will.
In a letter to Singapore’s ambassador to Cambodia, Kevin Cheok, dated July 13, opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua called for Singaporean authorities to cooperate in capturing Bun, saying “all police units should be put on alert”.
Speaking yesterday, Socheata, better known as Ms Sasa, dismissed Bun’s resignation as irrelevant.
“I’m not interested in his resignation at all,” she said. “I can’t forget what he did to me. It’s painful that a man should beat a woman.”
Sasa has previously stated she turned down a $40,000 compensation offer from the tycoon.
According to deputy police chief of Phnom Penh Sok Khemrin, Bun’s whereabouts are known, though he declined to give details.
However, he insisted authorities are committed to his capture.
“If he shows up, he will be arrested,” Khemrin said.