Australian Detained Over Failed Airport Deal

Australian businessman Iain Gray, 58, who was arrested at Phnom Penh International Air­port on Wednesday was charged with breach of trust and sent to Prey Sar prison on Thurs­day, Mu­nicipal Penal Police Chief Chuon Narin said.

“We arrested him on the charge of breach of trust with an ar­rest warrant from the court. We do not have any further details,” Chuon Narin said.

The arrest followed a lawsuit filed by a former employee, Raden Sok, who alleges Gray owes him $10,000 in a failed venture to de­vel­op Kom­pong Chhnang airport into a re­gional cargo hub.

The government terminated a deal with Gray in 2001 after he failed to come up with the capital to develop the airport, which was built more than 20 years ago but has since been all but abandoned, according to documents.

“We have repeatedly received as­surances from you [Gray] that the funding was imminent and have been shown documents to support this claim,” Council of Min­­isters Secretary-General Nady Tan wrote in a letter dated Feb 20, 2001.

Nady Tan said Thursday that Gray’s company, DragonGold, never came up with the money.

“[Gray] did not comply with the terms of the contract,” he said. “He failed to get the money.”

But Paul Greaves, another

Dra­g­onGold employee, said the planned development has not been scrapped and negotiations are ongoing.




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