Migration Charges Trial Ends for Man Linked to Thai Murder

The trial of a U.K. man suspected of being involved in a murder in Thailand and charged with immigration-related crimes in Cambodia wrapped up on Tuesday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Toby Nelhams, 45, was arrested and sent to Prey Sar prison in February after a tip from Thai police.

Toby Nelhams covers his face with a krama as he is escorted out of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

He was charged for entering Cambodia illegally, working without a passport or work permit and fraud.

Police suspect he is also behind the murder of fellow U.K. citizen Tony Kenway, a 39-year-old who was shot in the head in broad daylight in the Thai resort town of Pattaya in January, but is only on trial for immigration-related charges.

Kong Narith, deputy chief of the general immigration department’s immigration bureau, told the court that Mr. Nelhams was the owner of Springtide International, a company legally registered under the name of a Cambodian national, Men Chhanan.

According to Mr. Narith, the online company was “cheating” foreigners, though it remains unclear exactly what it involved. He said the company had about 100 staff members, most of whom were foreigners, and that Mr. Nelhams was running a similar operation in

Thailand before fleeing to Cambodia.

Mr. Chhanan’s written testimony read out by a court clerk said that Mr. Nelhams had asked him to set up the company and rent a house for an office. Mr. Chhanan claimed he was paid $200 per week for his services by another U.K. citizen, Graham William.

In his written testimony, also read by the clerk, Mr. William said Mr. Nelhams had previously had a joint business with Tony Kenway, in Thailand, which ended after the two fell out. Mr. William said he thought Mr. Nelhams was linked to Tony Kenway’s murder.

Mr. Nelhams denied the charges on Tuesday, saying he entered Cambodia legally with a passport and visa that did not expire until May 29 this year, but that the passport was lost when he was arrested.

He also denied owning Springtide International, with his lawyer claiming the owner was Mr. William. Presiding Judge Svay Tonh said a verdict would be announced on September 28.

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