Retired King Denounces ‘Sihanoukist’ Scam

In response to a group of al­leged scam artists who were promising free land to people who bought fake membership cards for a “Sihanoukist” political party, retired King Norodom Sihanouk rebuffed rumors that he will return to politics.

“Recently, some bad people have conducted a dishonest campaign to compatriots and especially poor people,” he wrote in a message on his Web site posted on Saturday.

“Some compatriots and children were deceived into selling their property in order to buy membership cards,” he said, reiterating his decision to dissociate himself from politics. People forming movements in his name were serving only their own interests, he added.

Five men were arrested in Kompong Chhnang province, ac­cused of selling cards under the name “Buddhist Association for Cambodian National Reconcil­iation of Sihanoukists,” said provincial Chief Prosecutor Mak Panny.

The court charged Be Savin, 55, Duch Yim, 56, Han Ratanak, 48, and Mam Pov, 41, with fraud and forgery, he said. The fifth man was released when the other four said he was not involved.

The court also sent a warrant to the Ministry of Interior for the arrest of Sen To, a resident of Phnom Penh’s Botum Pagoda who was accused of being behind the bogus association, Mak Panny said.

 

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