Suth Dina, Cambodia’s envoy to South Korea, accumulated more than $3 million in cash over the past three years, according to a statement released on Thursday by the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), which stopped short of accusing of the ambassador of graft but said there was sufficient evidence to forward his case to court.
Mr. Dina was summoned from the Foreign Affairs Ministry to the ACU’s Phnom Penh headquarters on Monday afternoon and questioned over unspecified misconduct. He has been in the unit’s custody since, and was questioned at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday.
“The ACU would just like to inform the public…that His Excellency Suth Dina has $7.2 million in cash outside a bank,” the statement said.
“Which means that there has been an increase of $3 million since 2013 when His Excellency Suth Dina had $4.2 million,” it said, adding that the ambassador also possessed 339 damlung of gold — worth about $500,000.
The statement did not explain how Mr. Dina amassed his newfound fortune, but said the ambassador’s efforts to project a humble image were disingenuous.
“Regarding the comments from some people who say that Suth Dina is very poor: He took photos of himself eating meals very simply with his children, and took photos of his house looking bad, in order to confuse the public.”
The statement added that the ACU’s investigation into Mr. Dina had produced enough evidence to charge him with two unnamed crimes.
“In accordance with the investigation by the ACU in the country and in South Korea…the ACU found that there is sufficient evidence to prepare documents to send Suth Dina to the court legally,” it said.
“Due to limited time, because it takes 48 hours to process relevant documents, the ACU has decided to prepare documents for just two offenses.”
The statement also said that Mr. Dina had attempted to stop the ACU from revealing details of his “long and complicated marriage history,” but did not explain the relevance of this disclosure. Mr. Dina married Sun Sokun Lealea in 2010.
His arrest this week comes after six ACU officials traveled to Seoul last month to investigate corruption allegations against the ambassador from multiple sources, including Facebook users.