A lieutenant colonel in the military has been arrested and charged with fraud for posing as the deputy head of the army’s counterterrorism department and extorting money from job-seekers hoping to work alongside the department’s commander, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son, police said Sunday.
The accused fraudster, Lieutenant Colonel Yoeung Sokchea, was allegedly taking between $8,000 and $10,000 from people applying for fake jobs in the counterterrorism department, which is led by the premier’s oldest son, Hun Manet. It is unclear how many people he is accused of defrauding.
“The man pretended to be a deputy commander of Excellency Hun Manet and he attempted to cheat money from people who wanted to get a job in the counterterrorism department,” said Eng Sorphea, chief of the municipal police’s serious crimes bureau.
Mr. Sorphea said it was unclear how many people Lt. Col. Sokchea had defrauded or what his true assignment was within the military, although he did not work in the counterterrorism department.
“The counterterrorism department arrested the man on Friday and they handed him to us on Saturday, and we sent him to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court the same day,” he explained.
Ly Sok Leng, an investigating judge at the municipal court, confirmed that Lt. Col. Sokchea was charged with fraud on Saturday and sent to Prey Sar prison to await trial. He declined to elaborate on the case.
Chim Sok, director of the Defense Ministry’s personnel department, also said Lt. Col. Sokchea was not part of the counterterrorism department.
“No man of this name was working in the department of Excellency Hun Manet,” he said. Asked where the alleged fraudster did work, Lieutenant General Sok said he was not sure.
“I am not sure whether this man was working in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, but Excellency Hun Manet and a group of inspectors are working on this case,” he said.