NGO staff in court for using fake state number plates

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NGO staffers arrested for using the King’s name and fake plate number in Kampot on June 14, 2019. Police

Authorities on Sunday sent the director of an NGO and his assistant to the Kampot provincial court following their arrests for falsely using the King’s name and driving vehicles with fake number plates, while two people were released after they were found not to be involved.

Provincial police chief Mao Chanmathurith told The Post on Sunday that the authorities had detained four people but, after questioning, two were released.

The four had been detained for using the King’s name and fake number plates, announcing the recruitment of a number of

unauthorised security guards and cheating residents out of a substantial amount of money, Chanmathurith said.

“At first, we arrested him [the director of the NGO] only for using fake number plates on his car and a motorbike but, upon further questioning, he said he had been appointed as a director by the King.

“I asked him if there was a certified letter to prove it and he said there wasn’t. So it means he was deceiving me too,” Chanmathurith said.

Kampong Trach district deputy police chief Heang Kea said on Sunday that the four suspects were detained because the authorities suspected that the number plates on their car and a motorbike were counterfeit.

During questioning, they said they had no documentation to prove the number plates’ validity and the authorities immediately sent them to the police station.

Kea said the director boasted that he was appointed by the King.

“We arrested him on Friday and immediately sent him to the provincial police station for further questioning.

“I’m not certain how many people were sent. My team arrested four people – his working group who were travelling together,” Kea said.

The provincial police station’s report on Sunday said the NGO’s director and his assistant were both 55-year-old men.

The two men who were released, the report said, were 51 and 47-year-old fellow travellers. All four live in Kampong Trach district’s Boeung Sala Khang Choeung commune, according to the report.

The evidence impounded comprised a Mercedes Benz car and an Airblade motorbike, both with counterfeit state number plates, four identification cards and other relevant documents.

Under questioning, the report said, the director and his assistant confessed to using fake number plates.

The director claimed he had bought the car by paying $1,500 in monthly instalments, according to the report, and said the motorbike had been bought from a warehouse in Phnom Penh – already bearing the fake number plate.

The authorities then sent the two suspects and the evidence to the provincial court to pursue legal action, the report stated.

Provincial court deputy prosecutor Khan Sophal said on Sunday that he had received the case.

“Now the court is working on the case but I’m not certain when it will finish . . . it might conclude on Monday,” Sophal said.