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15 Jul 2014

Zsombor Peter & Joshua Wilwohl, Cambodia Daily

Cambodia: Rights groups say the end of commercial relations between ANZ & Phnom Penh Sugar “did not absolve bank of responsibility”

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“Senator’s Sugar Firm Parts Ways With ANZ”, 7 July 2014

A controversial sugar plantation owned by Senator Ly Yong Phat has paid off the last of its debt to ANZ Royal Bank amid pressure from the bank to help hundreds of families in Kompong Speu province who accuse the plantation of stealing their land. Local rights groups say the end of commercial relations did not absolve the bank of responsibility and that ANZ should compensate the families if the plantation still refuses to do so…Phnom Penh Sugar director Seng Nhak confirmed that the plantation had paid off its loan to ANZ Royal but declined to say whether the move was prompted by the costs of meeting the bank’s social and environmental compliance standards. “Phnom Penh Sugar is continuing to engage directly with the local community and will continue to do so…” he said…[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited ANZ to respond. Response provided.]