Fake Hun Sen Bodyguard Nabbed After Scam

Duong Tara, arrested in 1998 for posing as a member of Prime Min­ister Hun Sen’s staff, was arrested by military police on Monday for again impersonating a staffer as part of a scam to relieve poor farmers of their money, authorities said.

The 42-year-old was apprehended by military police near the prime minister’s residence in Phnom Penh after authorities were tipped off that he was posing as a lieutenant colonel in Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, municipal military po­lice Commander Ya Kim Y said on Tuesday.

On Friday, Duong Tara ap­proached a group of protesters that had gathered in the park opposite the premier’s house seeking his in­tervention in their land dispute in Kompong Speu province.                                     Introducing himself as a bodyguard of the prime minister, Duong Tara said he could have the vil­lagers’ paperwork handed to Hun Sen and his wife, Bun Rany, and their dispute would be solved for a fee of $2,000.

When Duong Tara demanded a down payment of just $300, the villagers became suspicious and re­ported him to police, Ya Kim Y said.

“After our investigation, we checked his name on the list of the prime minister’s bodyguards and the Ministry of Defense, but we did not find it,” Ya Kim Y said.

On Tuesday, Duong Tara was ap­prehended again near the prime minister’s residence, Ya Kim Y said.

Municipal Military Police have charged Duong Tara with impersonating a military officer, faking a military rank and possessing fake documents and uniform, he said.

In a second case of police impersonation, a 41-year-old cattle smuggler was arrested last week in Kom­pong Cham province for posing as a police officer and carrying a weapon to aid his smuggling operation between Cambodia and Viet­nam, said Kompong Cham provincial Deputy police Chief Seng Sokim.

Seng Sokim said the man don­ned a police uniform and gun to make his smuggling easier. “But in fact, he was a simple villager,” he said.


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