The lead suspect in an alleged attempt to sell the offices of the Fisheries Administration is a Phnom Penh real estate agent who remains at large, National Police Chief Hok Lundy said Tuesday.
Neang Sovanny, owner of the Yalli Dara Trading company, was absent late Monday evening when police arrived at her Chamkar Mon district office and home and arrested her son, RCAF Colonel Sa Phorndara, 34, who is now in police custody at the Interior Ministry.
Police said Monday they were seeking to dismantle a group behind the purported forgery of Council of Ministers documents that sought to authorize the sale of the Fisheries Administration, situated at the corner of Sothearos and Norodom Boulevards.
National Police and Military Police on Saturday arrested RCAF Lieutenant General Men Vicheat, a former Funcinpec deputy Military Police commander.
Precise details about the arrests remained scarce Tuesday. However, Hok Lundy said a total of 18 people, five of them Military Police officials, were now in custody at the Interior Ministry and that Sa Phorndara had wasted no time in coming clean.
“He has confessed to forging the documents,” Hok Lundy said.
“They were trying to sell the forged documents so they could make money off the commissions,” he said.
Hok Lundy said police intend to send the suspects to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday. However court officials said at the end of business hours that no one had arrived.
An Interior Ministry official on condition of anonymity said the suspects would be transferred to the court today.
Military Police Commander Sao Sokha also said Tuesday that Sa Phorndara had implicated his mother in his statements to police, saying that she was the owner of a forged document retrieved during the arrest.
“We will continue the search and arrest his mother,” Sao Sokha added.