Businessman Rithy Samnang Dies

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Rithy Samnang in a photo posted to his Facebook page on December 24, 2021.

Rithy Samnang, a businessman known as president of football club Phnom Penh Crown and for links to Sihanoukville properties associated with online scams, died Wednesday morning from illness, according to a statement from his club.

The statement said Samnang was virtuous and contemplative, and left behind achievements in football, education and charity, adding that he was born in 1981, without including an exact age.

Under Samnang’s more than 10 years of leadership, Phnom Penh Crown became a part of his family, and the oknha always gave good advice and showed them good ways to all, it said.

“In this spirit, we are all committed to carrying on his point of view and continuing his heroism,” the statement said. “He spent his will and physical energy, and many resources, to build up football and especially for his beloved supporters of Phnom Penh Crown.”

Keo Sareth, secretary-general of the Football Federation of Cambodia, confirmed Samnang’s death, saying he had been informed by federation president Sao Sokha, who also heads the military police.

Samang died in Singapore from chronic illness, Sareth said.

In addition to his stewardship of Phnom Penh Crown, Samnang also sat on the executive committee of the Football Federation, and played an important role in the sport’s development, he said. “He loved it,” Sareth said. “It is a big loss.”

Samnang was also a director at Happy Lamb Hot Pot and chaired digital payments company Pi Pay.

He was also chair of K.B. Hotel, a Sihanoukville property surrounded by compounds alleged to be the site of online scams and forced labor.

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