Acleda Bank Files Defamation Action Against Government Official

The CEO of Acleda Bank filed a defamation complaint with police on Monday against an Interior Ministry official who accused the bank of colluding with a provincial governor’s wife by creating fraudulent vehicle tax documents.

In Channy, the longtime head of the country’s largest bank, submitted the complaint against Pheng Vannak to the National Police, requesting legal action be taken against the government official for sullying the bank’s reputation with “untrue” comments posted to Facebook.

“Kindly take legal actions against the person who has disseminated the information,” said the complaint signed by Mr. Channy and dated Monday.

Mr. Vannak claimed that a document issued by the bank showed that the wife of Siem Reap provincial governor Khim Bunsong was paying the incorrect amount of tax on her car, an older model that should have been taxed at 600,000 riel, or about $150, as opposed to 200,000 riel, or about $50, the figure for a newer model.

Mr. Vannak, whose provocative Facebook presence saw him convicted in March of defaming a senator for spreading news of an alleged affair, said the bank was right to accuse him of spreading false information and that he had since realized he had made a mistake.

“If they think what I said is not true and affects them, it is reasonable that they filed a complaint,” he said.

“I will be responsible and provide clarification…. I will apologize to them and if they still don’t accept, I can be punished with fines.”

“I said the bank colluded and so I am wrong, responsibly and fairly speaking,” he added.

Mr. Vannak said his erroneous remarks were made due to an error in a report made by the Siem Reap provincial department of public works.

“There is still fault with the government body…because it typed the classification of the car incorrectly,” he said.

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