Gov’t Targets Former Japan Ambassador

The government has filed a complaint in the Japanese courts against Troeung Mealy, the former Cambodian ambassador to Japan, for allegedly embezzling $700,000 during his post, Foreign Ministry Hor Namhong said.

The government is accusing Troeung Mealy (Fun) of stealing rent money that a Japanese firm paid for use of part of a building belonging to the Cambodian embassy in Tokyo during 1998.

Officials also blame him for pocketing visa fees.

“It is a mistake of former am­bassador Troeung Mealy, who caused the Cambodian government to lose some budget mo­ney,” Hor Namhong said Tues­day, adding the government is searching for a Japanese lawyer to work on this case.

Troeung Mealy disappeared after he left his posting in Japan at the end of 1998, and the government has been unable to find him, said Ok Socheat, a member of the Foreign Affairs Commis­sion in the National Assembly.

The government also filed a complaint against the Japanese firm currently renting the building, because the company claims it owns the land and the facility, Ok Socheat said.

The Cambodian embassy staff and company employees are now working in the same building, but in different areas of the facility, Ok Socheat said.

The Cambodian government owns the land on which the em­bassy building stands, and rented a portion of the old facility at a lower fee to a Japanese company that was hired to construct a new embassy in 1994, Ok Socheat said. According to the contract, the lease would be terminated in 60 years. Construction on the new embassy was completed in 1995.

The company went bankrupt and a second company took over the rent, which was allowed in the contract, Ok Socheat said.

Then the second company also had budget problems and a third company took over, which was illegal, he said. The government filed a complaint against the third company, which officials refused to name.

 

 

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