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Hun Sen Nephew Denies Australian Report of Drug Trafficking

Cambodian officers burn some three tones of various drugs are seized in the nation wide of this country at the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, June 2, 2009.

Hun To, an influential nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen, has denied a media report in Australia that he is wanted there for drug trafficking and other crimes.

The Age, an Australian newspaper, reported Monday that Australian police suspect Hun To of “heroin trafficking and money laundering” with a crime syndicate there.

Hun To was the target of an inquiry between 2002 and 2004, the Age reported. “But a plan to arrest and question Hun To in Melbourne was thwarted because his application for a visa was denied by Australian embassy officials in Phnom Penh, with one official citing the need to avoid a diplomatic incident,” the Age said.

Hun To is the son of Hun Sen’s brother, Hun Neng, the governor of Kampong Cham province.

Hun To told VOA Khmer Monday he was not involved in drug trafficking or other crimes reported in the news.

“The Age accused me of involvement with heroin, but do they have proof?” he said.

He said he hoped to file suit against the newspaper, but would not discuss details.

Bob Carr, Australia’s foreign minister, who was on a visit to Cambodia, declined to comment on the report. The Age did not respond to e-mail questions late Monday.

Khieu Sopheak, a spokesman for the Cambodian Interior Ministry, told VOA Khmer Monday the Cambodian government works closely with Australian law enforcement. He said it has not received criminal information related to Hun To.