OFAC designated the following persons:
CHAU, Phirun, Cambodia; DOB 02 Mar 1955; POB Svay Rieng, Cambodia; nationality Cambodia; Gender Male; Passport 0074881 (Cambodia) expires 15 Jan 2023 (individual) [GLOMAG].
TEA, Vinh, Cambodia; DOB 07 Jan 1952; POB Koh Kong, Cambodia; nationality Cambodia; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG].
under its Global Magnitsky sanctions program for corruption and/or human rights abuses.
Public Designation of Cambodian Officials Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption
NOVEMBER 10, 2021Share
We are announcing today the public designation of Chau Phirun (Chau), Director-General of the Defense Ministry’s Material and Technical Services Department, and Tea Vinh (Tea), Royal Cambodian Navy Commander, due to their involvement in significant corruption. In their official capacities as Director-General of the Defense Ministry’s Material and Technical Services Department and Royal Cambodian Navy Commander, respectively, Chau and Tea were involved in corrupt acts that undermined the rule of law and the Cambodian public’s faith in their government institutions and public processes, including by using their political influence and official power for personal benefit. In 2020 and 2021, Chau conspired to profit from activities regarding the construction and updating of Ream Naval Base facilities. Additionally, Chau and other Cambodian government officials likely conspired to inflate the cost of facilities at Ream Naval Base and personally benefit from the proceeds.
These designations are made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2021. In addition to Chau and Tea, we are publicly designating Chau Pirith, son of Chau; Chau Puleak, son of Chau; Kan Chantrea, spouse of Tea; Tier Leakhena, daughter of Tea; and Tea Sokha, son of Tea. This action renders Chau, Tea, and these immediate family members, ineligible for entry into the United States.
The Department of the Treasury also has designated Chau and Tea for their roles in public corruption, pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
Today’s actions reaffirm our commitment to supporting the Cambodian people and their aspirations for a peaceful, prosperous, democratic, and equitable future. The United States stands with all Cambodians whose work advances reforms, and the Department will continue to use its authorities to promote accountability for corrupt actors in the region and globally.
For more information, please contact INL-PAPD@state.gov
and Treasury issued press releases:
Treasury Targets Corrupt Military Officials in Cambodia
November 10, 2021
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two Cambodian government officials, Chau Phirun(Chau) and Tea Vinh (Tea), for their roles in corruption in Cambodia. These individuals are designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world. These designations are complemented by the U.S. Department of State’s announcement of visa restrictions under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2021 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act on Chau and Tea, and their eligible immediate family members, due to their involvement in significant corruption. Today’s actions demonstrate the U.S. government’s ongoing efforts to impose significant consequences on those engaged in corruption in Cambodia and globally.
“The United States will not stand by while corrupt officials personally benefit at the expense of the Cambodian people,” said Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea M. Gacki. “This Administration will continue to prioritize anti-corruption efforts and work tirelessly to promote accountability.”
CORRUPTION IN CAMBODIA
The United States has been long committed to combatting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Cambodia and globally. Recent developments in Cambodia, including growing systemic corruption, threaten both U.S. national security interests and the economic growth and prosperity of Cambodia and the region.
The two individuals designated today are members of the Cambodian Ministry of National Defense. Chau is the Director-General of the Defense Ministry’s Material and Technical Services Department. Tea is the Royal Cambodian Navy Commander. In 2020 and 2021, Chau conspired to profit from activities regarding the construction and updating of Ream Naval Base facilities. Additionally, Chau, Tea, and other Cambodian government officials likely conspired to inflate the cost of facilities at Ream Naval Base and personally benefit from the proceeds. Tea and Chau planned to share funds skimmed from the Ream Naval Base project.
Chau and Tea are designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for being foreign persons who are current or former government officials, or persons acting for or on behalf of such an official, who are responsible for or complicit in, or have directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the persons above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, E.O. 13818 was issued on December 20, 2017, in recognition that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, had reached such scope and gravity as to threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.
They also added this:
SECTION 7031(C) OF THE FY 2021 DEPARTMENT OF STATE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, AND RELATED PROGRAMS APPROPRIATIONS ACT
Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States. Click here to view more information on the Section 7031(c) designations.
about the State Department action.