Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tycoon testifies in trust case

Tycoon testifies in trust case

Tycoon testifies in trust case

Kok An, chairman of Anco Brothers Company Ltd, speaks to the Post outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Tycoon and ruling party senator Kok An testified yesterday against a former executive and his wife who are accused of siphoning nearly US$60 million from one of his numerous ventures, Anco Brothers Company.

“He was the person I trusted the most in the company,” the senator told the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. “He transferred piles of money from the company’s account into his own and his wife’s accounts.”  

The couple, who were charged in July with breach of trust and are in pre-trial detention, did not attend the hearing. Neither did their four lawyers, three of whom submitted letters to the court saying they were too busy to attend. Presiding Judge Leang Samnak said the letters were an “attempt to delay the trial”.

Heng Chheang, former vice-president of Anco Brothers and nephew of Kok An’s wife, and his wife Tep Kolap, former rector of the Phnom Penh International University, provided no reason for their absence.

Previously, they said the court had failed to follow legal procedures and called for an external audit of the firm, which distributes British American Tobacco products, Evian water and Budweiser beer in Cambodia.

Heng Chheang was hired by the company in 1991, rising rapidly as the tycoon’s business ventures multiplied into water supply, banking, resorts and a casino, Kok An told the court.

Initially, Kok An accused the pair of stealing $34 million between 2008 and 2010. Prak Sophath, an internal auditor at the company, told the court his June audit found that Heng Chheang had transferred more than $58 million into his and his wife’s accounts at three banks between 2001 and 2010.

Kok An’s lawyer Long Dara said the couple stole a total of $58,973,265.28, and requested a heavy sentence, repayment of the stolen funds and $300,000 in compensation.

Deputy prosecutor Heang Sopheak said there was enough evidence to prove guilt. A clerk read answers the pair previously gave to a judge, in which they insisted they were innocent.

Judge Leang Samnak said he would deliver a verdict today. Lawyers for the accused could not be reached.


  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a