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Police Arrest Second Officer in Land Scam

Police have arrested a second infantry officer suspected of involvement in an alleged plot to sell state land in Phnom Penh with forged documents, officials said Tuesday.

National police arrested Lt. Col. Saphon Dara, 34, an RCAF infantry officer, at his home on Monday, said Brig. Gen. Mok Phito, director of the penal crime department of the Ministry of Interior.

Saphon Sara is the son of Neang Sovanny and Nou Sophonn, who are being sought as the “masterminds” behind a plot to sell the offices of the Agriculture Ministry’s fishery administration on Norodom Boulevard using forged documents, military police commander Gen. Sao Sokha said Tuesday.

“I believe the two of them are still in the country, but they are trying to flee the country,” he said. “I hope we will arrest the two of them soon.”

Neang Sovanny, and her husband, Nou Sophonn, owned a real estate company known alternately as Hun Yany or Hun Many, employing the name “Hun” to attract high-ranking leaders by appearing to be linked with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Sao Sokha said.

Military police are holding four suspected members of the plot, including Lt. Gen. Men Vichet, deputy commander of RCAF infantry, and national police are holding another 18 suspects, officials said.

Mok Phito said the Interior Ministry has filed a complaint with Phnom Penh Municipal Court.