«អាណាចក្រ សាជីវកម្ម នៃគ្រួសារ អ្នកកាន់អំណាច នៅកម្ពុជា» | "Business dynasty of family in power in Cambodia"
Few prime ministers have served for as long as Cambodia’s Hun Sen, in power for 30 years. Even when democratically voted out he has refused to step down, and has systematically quashed political opposition including through the murder, torture and arbitrary imprisonment of his critics.
Hun Sen’s family have been key to the longevity of his political career. They hold key posts across the state apparatus - in politics, the military, police, media, and charities - sectors that prop up the premier’s ruling party through propaganda, political donations or brute force.
Our new exposé, Hostile Takeover, reveals the economic dimensions of this regime, shedding light on a huge network of secret deal-making and nepotism that emanates from the Hun family and underpins the Cambodian economy.
We show how Hun family members are amassing vast personal fortunes in Cambodia’s private sector, and wield significant control across most of its lucrative industries, with links to major international brands including Apple, Nokia, Visa, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé and Honda.Formerly a Khmer Rouge commander, Hun Sen rose to premiership in 1985. Cambodians voted him out in 1993, but he famously refused to step down. Since then, each and every election has been marred by violence or the promise of it. Credit: The Phnom Penh Post.
I think that within two years my assets will decrease, there won’t be a gain. And besides my salary I don’t have any other income. But I think my children will support me, they won’t let me starve.- Prime Minister Hun Sen first declared his assets publicly in 2011, claiming that his US$ 13,800 annual salary was his sole source of income.
iOne is Cambodia’s leading Apple retailer, and chaired by the wife of Hun Sen’s nephew. This is just one of the many international brands members of the Hun family have business links to, including Nokia, Visa, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Durex and Honda. Credit: The Phnom Penh Post.
The Hun family includes a shady cast of characters. Among them are members once implicated in a $1 billion heroin smuggling operation, shoot-outs, a fatal hit-and-run, and land grabs that have caused mass displacements and destitution among Cambodia’s rural poor.
These findings should sound alarm bells with Cambodia’s business partners - the Hun family are major gatekeepers to the influx of foreign capital into Cambodia, and the litany of abuses they are linked to pose significant legal, financial and reputational risk to companies and investors.
The UK is the second largest foreign investor in Cambodia after China. The US is Cambodia’s biggest trading partner and export destination, receiving a third of Cambodian exports, worth almost US$3 billion a year.