New Facebook account turns tables on Cambodia’s ruling party with apparently leaked photos of first family

By: Logan Connor - Posted on: April 4, 2017 | Cambodia

Images on a recently created Facebook page appear to show shady business dealings, intimate moments and some curious selfies from the prime minister  

An anonymous new Facebook page continued to expand its trove of revealing photographs and documents involving Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family yesterday, the latest in an escalating social media battle in Cambodian politics.

The new cache from the Facebook page – titled Thleay, or “leaks” in Khmer – features posts ranging from curiously intimate, potentially illegal to outright bizarre.

The most recent batch of photos show Sok Puthyvuth – Hun Sen’s son-in law and one of the country’s most prominent young businessmen as head of the Cambodian Rice Federation – standing next to what appears to be a slain wild boar with a silenced rifle in hand.

The account also released three letters on Monday, appearing to be from different businesspeople, requesting Hun Sen’s approval for establishing casinos throughout Cambodia, according to The Phnom Penh Post.

On 19 March, photos were posted appearing to show Hun Mana, Hun Sen’s eldest daughter, cosying up to national police chief Neth Savoeun. Another set of photos seem to show Hun To, a nephew of the prime minister with a rough reputation, lying in bed with plastic dolls.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak, who told The Post that he would ask ministry officials to look into the issue, deflected questions from Southeast Asia Globe about the page and its contents.

“[I] have no information about that, I’m sorry,” Sopheak said before ending the call.

Scandalous internet leaks have become commonplace in Cambodian politics as of late, though often aimed in the opposite direction. A Facebook page named “Seiha” has repeatedly targeted the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), releasing recordings of private phone calls including apparent conversations between party officials and their mistresses.

More than a year ago, the “Truth of the CNRP” page released unverified recordings allegedly between CNRP president Kem Sokha and an alleged mistress. The leaks led to a government investigation into Sokha, who spent more than six months holed up in the party’s headquarters before being convicted on related charges and then pardoned at the request of Hun Sen.

But the latest leaks are not the first to hit the ruling party. Hun Sen has sued former opposition leader Sam Rainsy for claiming that leaked online messages show him promising $1 million to social media starlet Thy Sovantha to protest against the CNRP, while a leaked Facebook conversation appears to show the prime minister’s middle son, Hun Manith, plotting with Sovantha about how to attack the opposition.