Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US ‘to freeze officials’ assets’: Kem Monovithya

US ‘to freeze officials’ assets’: Kem Monovithya

Former CNRP official Kem Monovithya meets with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy in January to discuss the possibility of further sanctions against the Cambodian government. Facebook
Former CNRP official Kem Monovithya meets with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy in January to discuss the possibility of further sanctions against the Cambodian government. Facebook

US ‘to freeze officials’ assets’: Kem Monovithya

Opposition figure Kem Monovithya claimed yesterday in a speech in California that asset freezes of top Cambodian officials by the United States government were imminent, though she did not elaborate on the specifics.

Monovithya’s father, Kem Sokha, was arrested in September on widely decried charges of “treason” while serving as president of the main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The CNRP was summarily dissolved two months later.

In response, the Trump administration cut aid to Cambodia’s election body, instituted visa bans against certain Cambodian officials and said more sanctions may be on the table.

“They will continue banning visas of other officials and also freeze assets of senior government officials,” Monovithya told CNRP supporters in Long Beach. She did not elaborate on the source of her information, and declined to comment yesterday.

In response, Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan, who is a dual American citizen, pointed to comments made previously by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who said he welcomed sanctions.

“We are not concerned . . . My prime minister has no assets in the US,” he said.

When asked about individuals, including himself, who might have assets, Siphan said that is a “private matter”.

The money he has in the US, he said, was earned there and is unrelated to his role with the Cambodian government.

“I did nothing wrong with that one,” he said.

Siphan also said he did not believe asset freezes would ever come, and claimed that the US wouldn’t want to risk “collateral damage” that would come from Cambodia imposing reciprocal sanctions. “We can take action against them too,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports