Duo Arrested Over $3.7M in Unpaid Wages, Casino Rent

Two Indian men are in police custody in Svay Rieng province for failing to pay millions of dollars in wages and rental fees related to a business they operated out of a casino on the Vietnamese border, officials said on Thursday.

Panchal Sunil Mukeshkumar, 37, and Shah Manthan Jaymishkumar, 29, were arrested on Tuesday in response to a complaint filed by the Titan King Casino in Bavet City, according to Keo Sotha, chief of the provincial police force’s minor crimes bureau.

The Titan King is owned by Kith Thieng, the brother of Royal Group chairman Kith Meng. Built in 2010, it is one of about a dozen casinos operating in the border town, catering mainly to Vietnamese gamblers.

According to Mr. Sotha, the Indian men had rented an outbuilding from the casino for their business, the nature of which is unknown.

“The two guys rented the casino’s building to do their business and then failed to pay their employees” or pay rent, he said.

A statement posted on the National Police website said the two were arrested over “fraud and breach of trust” amounting to $3.69 million for the period between April 18 and September 13. The statement provided no other details about the case.

A spokesman for Mr. Thieng, who gave his name only as Mr. Tola, referred questions to the tycoon’s lawyer, who identified himself only as Mr. Sokha and said he was not at liberty to discuss the case.

Mr. Sotha said the case was now being investigated by immigration police, and referred further questions to provincial immigration department director Chhorm Vannak, who declined to comment.

Svay Rieng Provincial Court spokesman Phan Ratana said both men were questioned at the court on Thursday, but had not been charged.

“The prosecutor has not finished questioning them yet,” Mr. Ratana said, adding that the men were to be held at the immigration department overnight and questioned again today.

(Additional reporting by Aisha Down)

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