Clash of political and business titans in Cambodia

Prime Minister Hun Sen and billionaire tycoon Kith Meng may no longer see eye-to-eye on the country’s political and economic direction.

When Cambodian authorities swooped on a popular nightclub in central Phnom Penh on February 23, arresting more than 300 people on drug possession charges, the raid set in motion a political firestorm few foresaw at the time.

Weeks later, authorities arrested and detained on drug-related charges the nightclub’s owner, Kith Thieng, a prominent businessman and brother of arguably the country’s wealthiest and well-connected tycoon, Kith Meng.

As founder and chief executive officer of the Royal Group, Cambodia’s largest business conglomerate, Kith Meng has big interests in virtually every sector of the national economy. His wealth has been estimated in recent reports at US$1.6 billion.

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