Brief: ABA Says It Can’t Talk About NagaWorld Accusations

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A NagaWorld protester in Phnom Penh on September 16, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)
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An ABA Bank spokesperson said they cannot talk about client information after three NagaWorld casino workers alleged that the bank blocked international transactions to their accounts last October.

VOD published a story last Thursday where NagaWorld unionists Chhim Sithar, Chhim Sokhorn and Klaing Soben said they were expecting money from a donor based in Australia to support unemployed casino workers, but that their transactions were blocked for varying reasons.

An ABA Bank employee allegedly said the transactions could not proceed because of negative news from their protests or because of money laundering policies.

Despite repeated attempts to reach her over the last two weeks, Khuon Pinoch, a public relations supervisor at the bank, did not respond last week. On Monday, she said she could not divulge any customer relations details.

“This is information of the client, we cannot disclose it to a third party,” she said.

When a reporter asked about the bank’s policies on freezing of transactions from overseas, she said that she needed to speak to a supervisor about this and had never faced this situation.

“We encourage customers when they are unhappy or have any complaints to file a complaint to us. We can solve this one-on-one,” she said.

The casino workers union has been engaged in a longstanding dispute with NagaWorld casinos over the termination of more than 1,300 workers in 2021 — out of which fewer than 200 are refusing to accept termination packages. The protesters say the mass layoffs targeted union leaders and members, and are alleging union-busting.

— Pa Sokheng

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