Tourists visiting the Apsara Authority’s Facebook pages over the weekend looking for updates on the country’s prized temples in Siem Reap province were in for a surprise, with the pages apparently hacked and plastered with salacious rumors about the ruling family.
One post uploaded on the Apsara Authority Tourism Agents page on Sunday included a photograph of Thy Sovantha, a prominent CPP-aligned social media activist, and a baby alongside smaller photos of Mr. Hun Sen, his son Hun Manith, and his nephew Hun To.
The caption reads: “Hun To blurted out at a recent party while he was tipsy. Hun To said, ‘I am just wondering if the one that came later (Thy Sovantha’s kid) is my cousin or my niece or nephew,’” an apparent reference to the baby in the image.
Ms. Sovantha has denied rumors that she has a baby, let alone with the prime minister’s son. Lengthy Facebook conversations allegedly between the two were leaked online last year, but were political and not romantic.
The post to Apsara’s page had 51,000 reactions, nearly 4,000 shares and almost 600 comments as of last night.
Apsara spokesman Long Kosal said the authority discovered its pages, and the account of a high-level official, who he declined to name, had been compromised on Saturday.
“We found out that some of our admins were removed from the accounts that we manage. From that we started to know about the action,” he said.
Mr. Kosal said Apsara had reported the incident to other authorities and its web team was investigating the hack.
Another post shared by the authority’s hacked page included more than 400 screenshots of conversations on the Line smartphone app allegedly between Ms. Sovantha and Mr. Hun Sen, which were originally leaked online in November.
Both Mr. Hun Sen and Ms. Sovantha have sued opposition leader Sam Rainsy for accusations based on those conversations, in which he claimed that the prime minister offered the activist $1 million to lead protests against the CNRP.
Another post matches photographs of members of the first family with images of notorious crimes, such as the murder of political analyst Kem Ley in July.
soumy@cambodiadaily.com
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