Cambodia accuses Malaysian-owned telco of ‘illegal’ cable-laying

Cambodian regulators have moved to launch criminal proceedings against the German chief executive officer of Smart Axiata, a Malaysian-owned telco that it accuses of “illegally” laying fibre-optic cables.

The Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) last week requested that the country’s judiciary launch criminal proceedings against CEO Thomas Hundt. On Tuesday, Axiata announced Hundt, who sources say is currently in Germany, would be giving up his responsibilities in Cambodia and joining its Malaysian operations.

Experts say the TRC’s move, which comes as regulators have rapidly ramped up their auditing of the telecom sector, could have major repercussions for foreign investment in the developing country.

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