Land-Grab Complaint Against ANZ Filed With OECD

NGOs have filed a new complaint against Australia’s ANZ Bank claiming it owes compensation to 681 Cambodian families who say their farms were illegally grabbed by a sugarcane plantation the bank helped to finance.

Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International on Tuesday filed the complaint on the families’ behalf with the Australian government’s National Contact Point for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

ANZ financed the refinery at CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat’s Phnom Penh Sugar plantation in Kompong Speu province until the company paid off its loan in July.

ANZ says repayment of the loan ended its responsibility to the families, but the NGOs argue that the bank has breached the OECD’s good business guidelines.

“ANZ should not be allowed to get away with profiting from the grand theft of hundreds of poor families’ land and livelihoods,” said David Pred, Inclusive Development’s managing director.

“If ANZ wants to continue advertising itself as an ethical business, then it must divest itself of this ill-gotten gain and use those funds to help the victims get back on their feet.”

peter@cambodiadaily.com

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