Cambodia moves to ‘drain the swamp’ with arrest of tycoons

A Cambodian tycoon has been arrested after she allegedly swindled investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars, the latest in a growing list of freewheeling elites accused of fraud.

Leng Channa, a 35-year-old businesswoman who became known for lavish donations to local governments, was charged with fraud and money laundering this month. She was also stripped of her oknha title, an honorific meaning “lord” or “duke” conferred on those who donate at least $500,000 to the government.

The charges stemmed from a high-profile scandal in Siem Reap province, home to the Angkor Wat temple complex, where thousands of families say they lost large sums to Channa’s real estate projects or a high-dividend investment fund in the last two years. Many took out microfinance loans to invest in her offerings.

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