There are conflicting reports regarding $3.7 million allegedly stolen from the Titan King Casino in Bavet, one of the special economic zones (SEZ) of Cambodia.
In a Khmer Times report on Sept. 15, Svay Rieng Deputy provincial police chief Khieu Sokhom was quoted as saying that two Indian nationals believed to have cheated the casino out of more than $30 million were arrested in Bavet. The city is an international border gate belonging to Svay Rieng province, Cambodia. The news agency reported the two men were arrested on Tuesday after the owner of the casino, Kith Thieng, filed a complaint charging 37-year-old Panchal Sunil Mukeshkumar and 29-year-old Shah Manthan Jaymishkumar with fraud. Kith Thieng’s brother, Kith Meng, is the chairman of the Royal Group conglomerate, which owns the Titan King.
However, in a news article dated Sept. 17, the Cambodia Daily reported that Mukeshkumar and Jaymishkumar were charged as accomplices to breach of trust, while the owner of a second licensed gaming facility that reportedly rented space within the Titan King Casino absconded with $3.7 million worth of unpaid staff wages and rental fees. Phan Ratana, a spokesman for the Svay Rieng Provincial Court would not divulge the man’s name or nationality, but Nhem Pheng, deputy chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said that immigration police were searching for the man, suggesting that he is also a foreign national.
According to the report, the embezzlement of the $3.7 million began on April 18 and ended on Tuesday when the two Indian nationals were arrested. In addition to rent owed to the Titan King, included in the funds in question is five-months of wages owed to the employees of the casino. The 700 or so employees reportedly revolted on Tuesday after having worked the entire five-month period without being paid. The two Indian nationals claim they were unable to pay the worker’ salaries because their “big boss” had all the money, according to the news agency. The men are being held at the Svay Rieng Provincial Prison while they await trial on charges of being accomplices to breach of trust. If convicted, the men face up to three years in prison.
The Titan King was built for $10 million and opened for business in 2010. The casino caters mainly to Vietnamese gamblers from Bavet’s counterpart across the border, Moc Bai, Vietnam.