F’pec Official: Prince’s Car Not Going to France

Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay on Monday dismissed local media reports that royalist party President Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh has asked for his bul­letproof Porsche to be shipped to France.

Contradicting the reports, Nhiek Bun Chhay said that the prince is plan­ning to return to Cam­bodia later this month. The Porsche re­ports—hinting that the Prince in­tends to re­main outside the country—had been planted in the press to sabotage the party, he said.

“[Prince Ranariddh] doesn’t need to send his car to France be­cause he has cars in France,” Nhiek Bun Chhay said. “The in­for­mation is not true.”

The report, attributed to anonymous sources, appeared in at least three local newspapers on Sat­urday and then again on Monday.

Funcinpec lawmaker Monh Sa­phan said that he has been inundated by questions from other lawmakers about the car following the newspaper reports.

“The information is aimed to cause an internal split within the Funcinpec party,” he said.

“They want to make party officials lose confidence in Funcinpec while the leader is not in the country,” he add­ed.

However, one of Prince Rana­riddh’s personal bodyguards said on con­dition of anonymity Mon­day that the Ministry of Public Works and Trans­port was working on the pa­pers for the car to be shipped abroad.

Ministry of Transport Secretary of State Chum Iek, a Funcinpec member, said he did not know if the re­port was correct.

An embattled Prince Ranariddh left the country on March 14, after his party lost a host of top government positions and his officials come under a barrage of criticism from Prime Minister Hun Sen over is­sues as diverse as extramarital af­fairs, incompetence and nepotism.

The National Olympic Commit­tee, which is headed by the prince, was al­so accused lavishly spending its scarce funds.


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