Military Officer Charged Over Impersonation of Hun Manet

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged a major in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces on Tuesday with fraud, faking public documents, illegal weapons possession and improper use of military uniforms, officials said on Wednesday.

Nguon Seng Sathya, 42, was accused of impersonating Lieutenant General Hun Manet, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son, creating a fake military unit, at least on paper, and soliciting money from people he recruited to join the nonexistent unit, according to a report published on Wednesday on the Fresh News website.

Mr. Seng Sathya, also known as Touch Seng, is deputy chief of the messenger office of the RCAF’s Region 4, Fresh News reported.

After the court charged Mr. Seng Sathya, Investigating Judge Theam Chanpiseth decided to detain him on Tuesday, said court spokesman Suos Vithyearandy on Wednesday, declining to provide more details.

Ly Sophana, deputy prosecutor and court spokesman, confirmed the charges brought against Mr. Seng Sathya in an online message and added that the major was sent to Prey Sar prison.

Spokesmen for the Phnom Penh military police, national military police and the Defense Ministry declined to comment.

Mr. Seng Sathya was arrested on Saturday by Phnom Penh military police for impersonating Lt. Gen. Manet and claiming he was a major general and second-in-command of the phony military unit, the “Special Intelligence General Department,” Fresh News reported.

The major reportedly donned a major general’s uniform and used Lt. Gen. Manet’s name to defraud people who were expecting a position in the unit, Fresh News wrote.

Mr. Seng Sathya was a military officer in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district from 1994 to 1999, according to statements he made to authorities as reported by Fresh News.

In 2013, he allegedly failed a military officers’ exam in Phnom Penh. He tried again the following year and passed. Last year, he began working in RCAF’s Region 4 and was promoted to the rank of major.

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