A businessman was provisionally charged on Wednesday for fraud reportedly involving nearly $2 million related to a land-for-construction swap with Phnom Penh municipal police in a deal offered by the Council of Ministers, according to officials and a local news outlet.
Bun Sitha, a tycoon who holds the title “oknha” for donating at least $100,000 to the ruling CPP, was summoned for questioning on Wednesday over the case.
In a letter from the Council of Ministers, Mr. Sitha is offered a deal to construct a building for three municipal police departments in exchange for the land in Tuol Kok district where the departments are currently located, according to the government-aligned Fresh News service.
Where Mr. Sitha ran into trouble, the service says, is when he tried to sell that letter on to other developers.
After receiving $900,000 from one developer, he attempted to sell the same project to another company for $1 million, it says.
The departments involved in the deal—economic crime, human trafficking and drugs—will be consolidated in a building next to the current municipal police headquarters, said Keo Thea, chief of the municipal police’s human trafficking department.
“But I haven’t seen a company start on the foundations yet. Court officials and other senior police officials either declined to comment or said they did not know about the case.