Man Who Fronts Shadowy Group Arrested in Phnom Penh

A Cambodian-American man claiming to be an adviser to US President Barack Obama was arrested in Phnom Penh on Saturday by the Interior Ministry’s internal security department on suspicion of passing $500 million in fake checks, according to National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith

Ray C Dam, 59, a dual citizen of Cambodia and the US, was arrested at his villa on Street 240 in Daun Penh district with three assistants, including two foreign nationals, according to Mr Chantharith. The names of the assistants were not available yesterday, but all four suspects are to be sent to court today, he said.

“We did arrest [Mr Dam] and his colleagues, who were involved with faking checks worth $500 million and using fake documents from the London-based HSBC bank,” said Mr Chantharith.

He added that Mr Dam had “created an identity” as a special adviser to President Obama and a former assistant to former US President George W Bush, and that police were attempting to check into these claims with the US Embassy.

US Embassy spokesman Mark Wenig could not be reached yesterday.

Mr Dam forged the checks to fund an unlicensed real estate business in Cambodia, Mr Chantharith said.

According to the website of the Office of International Treasury Control, Mr Dam serves as the organization’s chairman. OITC has a real estate subsidiary in Cambodia called Asia Real Property.

OITC has been denounced by government authorities in Ecuador, Fiji and the UK for perpetrating large-scale fraud according to local media reports in each of those countries.

The site claims that OITC is “the largest single owner of gold and platinum bullion in the world.”

“Dr Ray C Dam is a person, but His Excellency Dr Ray C Dam is a certified and indemnified international Central Banking financial institution operating as The Office of International Treasury Control,” the website says.

In an e-mail last month, a company representative identified only as “D.A.Sale.F.LLA.” warned a reporter to stop investigating OITC.

“I should advise you, which you should not consider this as a threat in any way, but more of responsible advice towards a responsible reporter. You are in a very dangerous arena here…. Leave this story alone as it can only cause damage to your good selves.”

(Additional reporting by Lucy Jordan)

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