Printing House Seeks $12,400 From F’pec Official

A Phnom Penh printing house has filed a complaint at the mu­nic­ipal court seeking $12,400 from a top Funcinpec official, claiming he owes the money for campaign ma­terials pro­duced for the 2003 na­tional elections.

The Daraneth Printing shop is seek­ing the money from Senior Mi­nister Serei Kosal for hats and flags that the shop produced for Func­inpec’s election campaign in Bat­­tambang province, that the royalists never paid for, the shop’s own­er, Hong Nareth, al­leged Fri­day.

“The Funcinpec party owes me a lot of money under the order of Serei Kosal…but none of them was will­ing to pay it,” he said, adding that he filed the complaint several weeks ago.

“I sought help a few times from [Func­inpec President] Prince No­ro­­dom Ranariddh and [Func­in­pec Secretary-General] Nhiek Bun Chhay but I never got a cent,” Hong Nareth said.

Serei Kosal said he is not re­spon­­sible for paying the debt, and ac­­cused the printing house of ex­aggerating the cost of the campaign materials. “I acknowledge that there was some debt owed by Funcinpec’s working group in Battambang, but it is not that much. And it is not any business of mine to pay,” he said.

He also claimed that the printing house produced some hats or flags of insufficient quality, which the party refused to accept, but was still billed for.

Hong Nareth said it is up to the court to decide whether this is the case.

Funcinpec’s Cabinet chief Phann Sothy said in a statement last month that Serei Kosal was solely responsible for picking up the tab.

“The General Secretariat of the Funcinpec Party would like to note that the Funcinpec Party does not owe any fees,” he wrote.

Nhiek Bun Chhay also said it is up to Serei Kosal to foot the bill, and claimed this is not the only outstanding debt his colleague has racked up. “He has too many debts that he is not taking responsibility for,” Nhiek Bun Chhay said.

Municipal Court Prosecutor Ouk Savouth and Deputy Pro­secutor Ngeth Sarath could not be reached for comment.

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