The NGO Global Witness reported the ill-gotten wealth of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen and his family.
According to the report, the decades-long grip of power has built a vast corporate empire through cronyism and corruption allowed by the Prime Minister himself.
The report shows the Hun family controlling stakes link to international brands like Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Durex, Honda, Nokia, Visa, and Apple valued at more than $200M.
Although the investigation is the first time evidence tracing the scale of the family’s finances, but likely only covers a fraction of their true business holdings and are masked by nominee owners.
The family’s estimated wealth ballooned to between $500M – $1B due to the many business interests of PM Hun Sen’s wife, together with his children, and close relatives, whom holding imperative positions in politics, media, police, and the military.
Global Witness co-founder Patrick Alley said, “These revelations point to a cruel irony of Hun Sen’s model of dictatorship – his family has Cambodia’s economy so sewn up that Phnom Penh residents are likely to struggle to avoid lining the pockets of their oppressors multiple times a day.”
Meanwhile, Sam Rainsy, the leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party who is currently in self-imposed exile in France, dubbed the family’s economic interests as “the result of systematic corruption,”
Added that, the country’s Anti-Corruption Unit has been designed to “hide government corruption and to target those who do not support the current regime”.
Despite myriad criminal allegations against the ruling clan, there are no recorded cases of any family members being prosecuted for wrongdoings.
Rising political tensions have been running the country amid government’s crackdown, numerous opposition members and several rights workers jailed on debatable charges, thus prompting rebuke from the International Community.