Long Bay

The Long Bay development is located within Union Development Group’s larger Dara Sakor real estate and tourism project in the coastal province of Koh Kong. Initiated in 2018, it was envisioned as a luxury resort and property development, but parts of the project have since become a location for online scams. Media reports in 2022 documented the conditions in which workers are held there, working online scams and unable to leave without paying a fine. Prior to this, the Long Bay project was tarnished by its association with an investor who was revealed to be a fugitive from China.
  • Published 6 Nov, 2022

Chinese Name: 长湾
Location: Koh Sdach Commune, Kiri Sakor District, Koh Kong Province, Cambodia.

  • Deng Pibing (邓丕兵)
  • She Zhijiang (佘智江) / Tang Kriang Kai (តាំង គ្រាង ខាយ). Other aliases: She Lunkai (佘伦凯), Jiang Lunkai (江伦凯), Dylan She, Dylan Jiang, She Kailun and Tang Kailun.
  • Zhengheng Group Co., Ltd. (正恒集团有限公司)
  • Union Development Group (优联发展集团有限公司)
  • Yatai International Holding Group (亚太国际控股集团)
  • Building Cities Beyond Blockchain (BCB)

What Do We Know about Long Bay?

Long Bay (长湾) is a property development located in coastal Koh Kong Province, in Koh Sdach Commune, Kiri Sakor District. It is located within a broader development zone called Dara Sakor, now branded ‘Coastal City’ (or 七星海, Qixinghai, in Chinese). The area was leased by the state to Union Development Group (UDG) in 2008, which has since brought in other investors to develop specific locations in the vicinity. The Long Bay project was envisioned as a luxury resort covering 200 hectares including commercial streets, a cultural tourism area, sea-view apartments, villas, a yacht marina, a casino, and a coastal hotel. It also includes a 55-hectare ‘smart industrial park’. At the ground-breaking ceremony of the project in November 2018, the company’s executive director predicted an ‘80,000 industry and tourist population’ growing within five years. As of September 2022, the project is only partially developed.

Visualisation of the Long Bay development from 2022. Source: Cambodia-China Culture and Tourism Industry Promotion Association.

Visualisation of the Long Bay development from 2020. Source: LongBay.DaraSakor.

The design of the project does not fit the more functional arrangement of compounds in Cambodia that were built specifically for the purpose of housing online gambling and scam operations. Instead, it features a series of irregular shaped apartment blocks connected by green spaces. It is possible that the project was repurposed for online operations after the industry boomed and as the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in construction delays and decimation of the tourism industry. According to the account of one person who was held at the compound, some areas of the development are open to tourists—whom he could see coming and going—but they are kept separate from the online compound.

Areas of the Long Bay development that are open to tourists. Buildings housing scam operations are segregated from public areas. Source: Zhengheng Group.

Rumours had already been circulating for some time that online criminal activity may be occurring within the UDG development, and in July 2022 a documentary by Al Jazeera highlighted the site as a location of online crime operations. This investigation found that, according to police sources, at least 50 people had been rescued from the compound. Earlier in 2022, a report from Southern Weekly (南方周末) identified Dara Sakor as a location where online companies were ‘hidden’. The article has since been deleted, but can be found via Wayback Machine.

Voice of Democracy (VOD) reported on the case of a 32-year-old man from Taiwan who was held at the Long Bay compound, he says, after being duped into working in online scams in Cambodia. Initially he worked for a scam operator in Sihanoukville, before moving to Long Bay where the company he worked for ran online romance scams. After his requests to leave were ignored or denied, he asked his father in Taiwan to help. The father connected with a Taiwanese social-media personality and the non-profit group Global Anti-Scam Organization (GASO), and subsequently with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vietnam. The office gave the father two letters to present to Cambodian authorities asking them to remove his son from the company.

Letter from Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ho Chi Minh City. Source: GASO.

After travelling to Cambodia, his father went to the Koh Kong provincial police, accompanied by VOD reporters, and filed a complaint. One officer told the father that if his son was on a work contract, he would not be able to leave until the contract was finished, unless he paid a fee. He also said that in his experience, the companies did not abuse people, just did not allow them to leave the compound. In a matter of hours, the police had apparently leaked the complaint to his son’s captors, who then interrogated him twice. After losing faith that the police would help, the father travelled to Long Bay to personally retrieve his son. The man was eventually released, but only after paying US$7,500. Besides mainland Chinese and Taiwanese, he also worked with South Asians in the compound, who mostly engaged in scams targeting English speakers.

On 8 August 2022, the Embassy of the Philippines in Cambodia sent a letter to Lieutenant General Dy Vichea, Deputy Director of National Police, and Lieutenant General Hun Somnang, Director of the Intelligence Department. The letter requested the release of four Filipino citizens from ‘an unknown Chinese company in Long Bay Casino in Dara Sakor’. The letter stated that the embassy had received ‘another urgent request’ for police assistance from citizens being forced to work as ‘online scammers’ at Long Bay. They had had their passports seized and were prevented from leaving without paying a fee. The letter included the floor and room number where the detainees were being held. The Cambodia-China Times reported that the police were investigating as of 17 August.

When VOD followed up with provincial police almost two weeks after the letter was sent, the case was still being investigated, and provincial police had requested support from the national level. The provincial police spokesman told reporters that foreigners from two or three countries had previously requested help to get out of the compound. On 26 August, VOD reported that the provincial police spokesperson said: ‘This case is done. The team went down to check that location and found out that they had left even before we got there’. He went on to deny that any detention took place: ‘There was no detention of the four. They came to work and now left’.

Letter from Philippines Embassy to Deputy Chief of National Police Requesting Rescue of its Citizens. Source: Al Jazeera.

Long Bay featured in Chinese media in May 2022 when two Chinese men and their Cambodian military bodyguard were arrested after threatening a man with a gun over a US$20,000 debt owed to a company.

Many posts can be found on Facebook seeking ‘customer service’ staff to work at Long Bay, bearing all the hallmarks of online scam recruitment.

Recruitment for ‘customer service’ work at Long Bay. Source: Muyleng Ly.
Recruitment for ‘customer service’ work at Long Bay. Chinese language and computer skills required, but no prior experience in customer service necessary. Flights and visas covered. Source: YA.
Recruitment for ‘customer service’ work at Long Bay. 12-hour workdays, seeking Vietnamese staff under 35 with Chinese language skills. Flights and visas covered. Source: Lis.

Despite multiple media reports, intervention by a foreign embassy, and rescues of people detained at Long Bay, in September 2022 the Cambodian gaming commission issued a casino license to Long Bay Entertainment Co., Ltd. (长湾娱乐有限公司) to operate the Long Bay Casino (长湾赌场).

Press Release Announcing Granting of Casino License to Long Bay Entertainment Co., Ltd., 22 September. Source: General Secretariat of the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia.

Which Actors and Companies Have Been Linked to Long Bay?

Long Bay sits at the centre of the massive 450-square-kilometre (45,000-hectare) development zone that was granted between 2008 and 2011 to Chinese company Union Development Group (UDG, 优联发展集团有限公司), a subsidiary of Tianjin Youlian Investment Development Group (天津优联投资发展集团有限公司). The project designs have changed over the years, as has its name. From its inception the project was known as Dara Sakor, but subsequently acquired the name Coastal City in English and 七星海 (Qixinghai) in Chinese. For more information on the broader development at Dara Sakor, see this comprehensive profile in The People’s Map of Global China. Although it came into existence five years before the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was first announced, it was subsequently absorbed into the Initiative and later included in a list of ‘Key Projects of Production Capacity and Investment Cooperation’ jointly signed by China and Cambodia in 2016, as well as a list of priority projects agreed by the two government in 2019.

The Dara Sakor development was controversial from the outset, largely due to its connection to extensive eviction and resettlement of entire villages of fisherfolk and farmers that resided within the area, as well as encroachment on to the Botom Sakor National Park. Media reports have found that over 1,100 families were pushed off their land and more than 1,500 homes dismantled. Years of protest, negotiations, and rounds of compensation followed, and some disputes continue to simmer. UDG was sanctioned by the US Government in 2020 under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, due to its connections to serious human rights abuses, including these evictions. For more discussion on the background to these sanctions see the profile in The People’s Map of Global China.

Despite being granted well over a decade ago, only a small percentage of the Dara Sakor zone has been developed. While it is presented by UDG as a unified development, it is in fact being developed by several actors.  For example, the Long Bay area appears to have been sub-leased or sold to Zhengheng Group (more below). Another development covering 248 hectares within the area called Stardream Lake Tourism Town (星月湖) was also announced in 2020. The plan for this area is to build hotels, villas, and casinos, but UDG is seeking investors to purchase or rent plots of land within the zone to develop them. In the plan shown below, Long Bay sits in Zone 2 ‘Qixinghai International New Zone’.

Dara Sakor Development Plan, 2022. Source: Coastal City.

Zhengheng Group: Long Bay Project Developer

Zhengheng Group (正恒集团有限公司) entered the Dara Sakor project in 2017 and in late 2018 publicly launched Long Bay. At the time of the launch, media reports described Chinese-born Li Tao (李涛) as the company’s Executive Director. Li was at the time the chairman of UDG’s Cambodian operations. However, he has not appeared in connection with Long Bay for the past few years. Zhengheng Group is active in a diverse range of sectors, including banking, real estate, investment, internet, human resources, tourism, and entertainment, among others. Zhengheng’s website was taken offline sometime in September to October 2022, and this profile therefore links to cached pages from the site before it went offline. The company website stated that its business covers Cambodia, China, the United States, Thailand, Laos, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and ‘other developing cities and regions’ in Southeast Asia, but only provided information on its Cambodian portfolio.

Deng Pibing at the launch of the Long Bay project. Source: The Phnom Penh Post.

The founder and chairman of Zhengheng is Deng Pibing (邓丕兵), a native of Hanshou County in Hunan Province, China. According to one online biography, Deng Pibing came to Cambodia in 2003, when he worked in ‘Internet information engineering’. In 2010, he established the Cambodian human resources information platform CAMHR. He founded Cambodia Zhengheng Group in 2017. According to Cambodia’s business registry, as of October 2022 he held director positions at 20 companies. Among them are Zhengheng Group Co., Ltd. (正恒集团有限公司), Zheng Heng (Cambodia) Co., Ltd. (正恒(柬埔寨)有限公司), and Zhengheng Development Group Co., Ltd. (正恒发展集团公司有限公司), all of which have Deng as a director and Chairman. Three other Zhengheng companies appear in the company register at which Deng does not hold a director position: Zhengheng Property Management Co., Ltd., Zhengheng New Energy Co., Ltd., and Zhengheng Hotel Management Co., Ltd. 

Deng Pibing has received the title of ‘Okhna’, which is secured by making donations of at least US$100,000 to the Cambodian government. In 2016, he received Cambodian citizenship.

Decree naturalising Deng Pibing as a Cambodian citizen, October 2016.

Deng holds (or has held) positions in various bodies. He is president of the Cambodia-China Culture and Tourism Industry Promotion Association, honorary chairman of the Hunan General Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, and chairman (link no longer available) of the ASEAN Overseas Chinese Business Association and Hong Kong ASEAN Association. Zhengheng is also a founding member of the Cambodia Internet Startup Association (CISA), along with Huawei and the Cambodian Association of Finance and Technology. CISA describes itself as ‘the first Chinese community on venture capital in Internet industry … initiated jointly by leading Chinese companies in the internet industry in Cambodia.’ Deng Pibing is chairman of CISA.

Deng Pibing has networked extensively during his time in Cambodia and has met publicly with a range of leaders and officials including Prime Minister Hun Sen, Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Land Chea Sophara, Minister for Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona, and Koh Kong Governor Mithona Phouthorng. Deng also met with the Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone when he visited Cambodia in 2019 (see slideshow below).

In 2019, a delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hor Namhong inspected Long Bay. This was joined by China’s Ambassador to Cambodia, the head of the Council for Development of Cambodia, and other officials. Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong praised the planning and progress of the project. Later, in 2021, Du Jiahao, member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee and secretary of the CCP Hunan Provincial Committee, led a delegation to Cambodia. During this trip, Director General Xu Xiangping of the Hunan Province Department of Commerce and members of the Hunan business community visited Zhengheng Group’s headquarters and discussed the Long Bay project.

In April 2020, the company donated US$180,000 to the Cambodian government to support its Covid-19 response. Later the same year, Zhengheng donated US$100,000 to the Prime Minister to help victims of that year’s extreme floods. In 2021, with the pandemic hitting Cambodia hard, the company donated US$50,000 to the Red Cross. In the two months prior, it had already donated US$250,000 in cash and medical equipment to the Red Cross, police force, and other units on the frontline of the epidemic response.

Deng Pibing meeting Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly, August 2020. Source: 柬埔寨圈儿.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Land Chea Sophara, January 2021. Source: Qixinghai-Long Bay.

Seated, left to right: President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin, Deng Pibing, Prime Minister Hun Sen, and First Lady Bun Rany, 2018. Source: Fresh News.

Long Bay Facebook account promotes meetings with Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Source: Qixinghai-Long Bay (1) (2).

Deng Pibing meeting Phoeurng Sackona, Minister for Culture and Fine Arts, 2020. Source: Zhengheng Group.

Deng Pibing meeting Phoeurng Sackona, Minister for Culture and Fine Arts, 2020. Source: Zhengheng Group.

Deng Pibing meeting Koh Kong Governor Mithona Phouthorng, May 2021. Source: Zhengheng Group.

Director General Xu Xiangping of Hunan Province Department of Commerce (short sleeved shirt) inspects Long Bay plans, November 2021. Source: Zhengheng Group.

Certificate of appreciation from the Cambodian Red Cross to Zhengheng Group and Deng Pibing, April 2021. Source: Cambodian Red Cross.

Deng presenting Long Bay to Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone when he visited Cambodia in 2019. Source: Qixinghai-Long Bay.

After VOD reported on the involvement of Zhengheng Group in the Long Bay project, an officer claiming to be from a public relations firm representing the company contacted VOD requesting they edit the story and remove mention of Zhengheng companies and its directors. The company offered to pay to have the article changed. When VOD declined, the officer threatened: ‘We will use legal weapons to attack the media that deliberately and maliciously smear and attack Zhengheng Group. Whether it’s in the US or Asia.’ This is the second time that the company has threatened legal action regarding public discussion of its business structure—it also threatened to take action against Global Anti-Scam Organisation (GASO) when it published an article on Long Bay. For this reason, it should be noted that all information on Zhengheng referenced in this profile—as in every other profile in our site—is from public sources and links are provided. Company data can be found on Cambodia’s business registry.

Deng Pibing has links to Cambodian tycoon Tang Kung (គួង តាំង). Tang Kung leads the Tang Kung Group conglomerate, and is chairman of Jing Kan Co., Ltd. Jing Kan developed the Jingang Hotel (see our profile here), which hit the headlines in April 2022, when a group of Vietnamese nationals attempted to escape from the compound, allegedly rushing security armed with knives. A police raid quickly ensued, and over 200 Vietnamese nationals were removed from the premises and deported within a few days. Officials and police denied that this was anything more than normal immigration enforcement, but the facts of the case indicate that the compound was being used as an online fraud and gambling hub, with reports stating some people were duped into working there and then held against their will. Tang Kung is linked to over 25 companies in Cambodia. One of these companies is Maritime City Co., Ltd., at which Deng Pibing is listed as one of the directors.

In September 2022, a Zhengheng property in Sihanoukville was raided during a city-wide crackdown on illegal gambling, fraud, human trafficking and illegal detention. The raid happened at the Zhengheng New Energy Building (正恒新能源). The company Zhengheng New Energy Co., Ltd. (正恒新能源有限公司) was registered in 2021. Police rescued nine detainees and arrested seven Chinese men. They also found 37 Chinese people suspected of being smuggled to Cambodia. This is covered in more detail in the profile here.

LongPay: Long Bay’s Payment App

The Taiwanese man that was featured in the VOD article detailed earlier in this profile told reporters that while he was held at Long Bay, he was paid in cash but used the payment app ‘LongPay’ for small purchases within the compound. Cambodia’s business registry includes a company called LongPay Financial Institution Co., Ltd., registered at an address on Harvard Street, Phnom Penh, the same street on which Zhengheng Group headquarters is located. The chairman is a Cambodian called Kong Rady (គង់ រ៉ាឌី). Kong Rady is chair of two other companies, one of which, Cambo Technology (I.S.P) Company Ltd., counted Deng Pibing as a director until he stepped down in November 2021.

LongPay has a basic website and the contact information also lists Harvard Street as its address. It includes a Zhengheng email for Roy Liang, who was previously described as a special assistant to Zhengheng chairman Deng Pibing on the company website, but articles mentioning him were removed from the company website after the VOD report was published (before the entire site went offline). However, he is described as Secretary General of the Cambodia-China Culture and Tourism Industry Promotion Association on its website, an association founded by Deng Pibing. The LongPay page on Apple’s App Store is in Chinese, and among the services the app provides is ‘园区会员的二维码消费’, or ‘QR code for purchases by park members’.

Shi Zhijiang: A Fugitive Business Partner

For a time, Long Bay was linked to a Chinese-born man called She Zhijiang (佘智江), who has also gone by various aliases, including She Lunkai (佘伦凯), Jiang Lunkai (江伦凯), Dylan She, Dylan Jiang, She Kailun, and Tang Kailun. In 2017, he received Cambodian citizenship and adopted the name Tang Kriang Kai (តាំង គ្រាង ខាយ). She’s most visible company is Yatai International Holding Group, which is behind the notorious Shwe Kokko scam complex in Myanmar. However, after coming under media scrutiny, the company deleted much of the content on its website and WeChat account, which were both subsequently removed entirely. The company website discussed Yatai’s involvement in Dara Sakor and presented She as an investor in the project.

She Zhijiang was present and centre stage when Long Bay was launched, and is visible in media coverage of the event, along with the former chairman of UDG and Deng Pibing.

She Zhijiang and Deng Pibing at Long Bay launch ceremony, November 2020. Source: Yatai International Holding WeChat (since deleted).

Long Bay launch ceremony, November 2020. She Zhijiang on left in white shirt. Source: The Phnom Penh Post.

Long Bay launch ceremony, November 2020. Former chairman of UDG on left; She Zhijiang, fourth from left; Deng Pibing, second from right. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

Long Bay launch ceremony, November 2020. Former chairman of UDG on left; She Zhijiang, fourth from left; Deng Pibing, second from right. Source: Fresh News.

She Zhijiang was part of the proceedings when the Hunan General Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia was inaugurated in September 2018. The ceremony was attended by Men Sam An (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Assembly–Senate Relations and Inspection), Li Jie (Counsellor of Chinese Embassy in Cambodia), and Chen Changjiang (President of the Cambodian Chinese Chamber of Commerce), among others. As noted earlier, according to a 2020 article, Deng Pibing is an honourary chairman of this chamber.

Inaugural ceremony of the Hunan General Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia. She Zhijiang, second from left; Deputy Prime Minister Mem Sam An, third from left. Source: Cambodia-China Times.
Inaugural ceremony of the Hunan General Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia. She Zhijiang with Deputy Prime Minister Mem Sam An. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

While becoming active in Cambodia, She became most well-known for an audacious project in Myanmar called the Shwe Kokko Special Economic Zone, or Yatai New City. He embarked on a media blitz promoting this alleged US$15 billion project, and presented it as a key Belt and Road (BRI) project in Myanmar. However, it emerged in 2020 that She was actually a fugitive, on the run from the law in China after the courts found him to be involved in the operation of illegal online casino businesses worth RMB 2 billion from 2012–13 (see criminal judgement here). Eight of his associates were sentenced to time in prison but She fled the country. He was also involved in illegal online casino activity in the Philippines from 2014–15, which resulted in the deportation of 140 people. After controversy around the Shwe Kokko project erupted, the Chinese Embassy in Yangon took the rare step of distancing itself from the project, stating that it was ‘a third-country investment and has nothing to do with the Belt and Road Initiative’.

After Caixin broke the story that She was a fugitive on the run from China, his company issued a denial. However, he was arrested in Thailand in August 2022 under an Interpol red notice and was reportedly awaiting extradition to China as of August. Just a few months before his arrest, Frontier Myanmar found that the Shwe Kokko project had become a major centre for online scams, with accounts from workers similar to those from compounds in Cambodia, including people recruited under false pretences and held against their will unless they paid compensation to the company holding them. For more on the Shwe Kokko project, see this profile in The People’s Map of Global China.

Decree naturalising Shi Zhijiang as a Cambodian citizen with the name Tang Kriang Kai, January 2017.

Building Cities Beyond Blockchain (BCB) and Fincy

Closely related to Yatai and She Zhijiang is Building Cities Beyond Blockchain (BCB). Now-deleted information posted online by Yatai mapped out its plans to create a digital payment platform for use at its Shwe Kokko project. A detailed presentation posted online by Yatai described how BCB would work as an exclusive payment and money transfer system for people living and working within its Myanmar development. The presentation also stated that in June 2020, ‘BCB became the Qixinghai-Long Bay payment currency’.

Page from ‘Yatai International Smart Industry New City’ presentation, Long Bay mention highlighted in red. Source: Yatai International Holding Group.

BCB is a Singaporean firm, established in 2018 by Douglas Gan. That year, it created BCB Coin, a crypto currency for use in online gambling in Yatai’s Philippines operations, and BCB Pay for use in Yatai spas. At Shwe Kokko in Myanmar it intended to create a digital infrastructure for utilities, transportation, finance, payroll, and digital payments. Huawei provided cloud server technology to equip BCB with data storage. In order to create a platform for these various functions, BCB created Fincy, a social networking and payment app. Company materials stated that the BCB Blockchain used encryption with ‘no location transactions’, which would conceal the origin of transfers and ensure privacy for users. This was rolled out in Shwe Kokko in 2020, and the same year Fincy began to establish itself as a leading payment app in Cambodia, under the company GBCI Ventures PLC.

After news broke of the criminal background of She Zhijiang, Fincy announced its withdrawal from the Shwe Kokko project in October, stating: ‘Fincy refutes all claims of nefarious dealings and holds zero tolerance [for] illegal activities and unethical practices’. BCB’s website and those of associated companies, including Fincy, have since been taken offline, and Singapore company databases state that BCB has been ‘gazetted to be struck off’. The Fincy app has been removed from the Google Play and Apple App stores, and Fincy’s Cambodia’s Facebook page has not been updated since December 2020. As mentioned earlier, the Taiwanese man whose experience escaping Long Bay was documented by VOD reported using an app called LongPay while held there, indicating that BCB and Fincy did indeed cease operating.

Deals with US Real Estate Companies?

In April 2019, Zhengheng announced that it had signed a strategic agreement with the American real estate company Cushman & Wakefield. Cushman & Wakefield is a global real estate services company, headquartered in Chicago and publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Press releases on the signing are vague and do not specify the nature of the two firms’ planned cooperation—press releases came only from Zhengheng, not Cushman & Wakefield, and it is unclear if this moved forward.

A month later, Zhengheng announced the signing of a cooperation agreement bringing another major publicly listed US firm, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, into the Long Bay project. The deal was signed with an entity called TRF Vacation Club, which ‘introduced’ Wyndham. Although it is not clear if a Wyndham representative was present, the ceremony sign boards bore their logo. Again, it is unclear if this cooperation agreement was implemented.

Zhengheng and Cushman & Wakefield sign strategic cooperation agreement, April 2019. Source: Fresh News.

Zhengheng and TRF Vacation Club sign strategic cooperation agreement, reportedly bringing Wyndham Hotels and Resorts into the project, May 2019. Source: Fresh News.

BIC Group Connections

In August 2019, Zhengheng signed a cooperation agreement with BIC Security (BIC 安全) to provide security services for the Long Bay project. BIC Security Co., Ltd. is chaired by Yim Leak (យឹម លក្ខណ៍), and Deng Pibing is a director. BIC Security is a member of the BIC Group, which is chaired by Yim Leak and has subsidiaries in banking, investment, insurance, real estate, legal services, and luxury yachts. Deng Pibing also holds a director position at BIC Insurance PLC. and was a director at BIC Markets Co., Ltd. until November 2020. Deng holds director positions at two real estate companies that are chaired by Yim Leak, One Central River Co., Ltd. and One Central Tower Co., Ltd. The Zhengheng website lists BIC Bank and BIC Security as parts of the Zhengheng Group. Yim Leak is the son of Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly and is the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son, Hun Many.

Yim Leak is exceptionally wealthy and is known to own several super cars, as he frequently shares images of his lavish lifestyle on his Instagram, as does his wife. His father Yim Chhay Ly was present at the launch of Long Bay in 2018 and the ground-breaking for the One Central Tower development in Phnom Penh, where Deng Pibing was also present.

Zhengheng and BIC Security sign cooperation agreement, August 2019. Source: Jin Hua Daily.

Century Entertainment

In 2021, Hong Kong-listed Century Entertainment International Holdings relocated their gaming tables from a casino in Sihanoukville to Long Bay after signing a casino lease and operation agreement with LongBay Entertainment Co., Ltd. There is a Long Bay Century Hotel now open within the development. Century is owned by Ng Man Sun, known to be a high-profile triad.

Shenzhen Airlines

In 2020, Shenzhen Airlines and Tour Around Co., Ltd. signed a strategic cooperation agreement. Tour Around is chaired by Deng Pibing and shares an address with Zhengheng Group. The collapse in Chinese tourism brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic likely means there has been limited progress in implementing this agreement.

Long Bay Contractors

Although they are not investors in the project, at least two major Chinese state-owned enterprises were involved in construction at Long Bay. In October 2019, the Cambodian subsidiary of Sichuan Huashi Third Construction (Cambodia) Co., Ltd. (四川华西三建(柬埔寨)有限公司) signed an agreement with Zhengheng to develop several projects at Long Bay with a construction area of ​​48,000 square metres and a contract cost of US$22.5 million, although media reports did not specify exactly which projects. Sichuan Huashi is a provincial state-owned enterprise from Sichuan Province. Company executives were present at the Long Bay ground-breaking ceremony in November 2019.

Also present at the ground-breaking was China Railway 11th Bureau Cambodia Branch (中铁十一局柬埔寨分公司), a subsidiary of central state-owned enterprise China Railway Construction Corporation (中国铁建股份有限公司). In May 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong and Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian visited the construction site, which included a first phase of nine apartment buildings.

Ceremony for signing agreement between Sichuan Huashi and three companies, including Zhengheng, October 2019. Source: Cambodia-China Times.

Entrance to Long Bay construction site, banner carries name of China Railway Infrastructure Construction International Engineering Co., Ltd., May 2019. Source: Qixinghai-Zhengheng.

Inspection of China Railway Construction Corporation site at Long Bay. The Chinese Ambassador in centre, with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong and then UDG Chairman Li Tao on his right. Source: Qixinghai-Long Bay.

Location of Long Bay

Links to Other Compounds, Companies, and Individuals

The director of Zhengheng Group, Deng Pibing, has business associations with Tang Kung, chairman of Jing Kan Co., Ltd., the developer of the Jingang Hotel project, which has been linked to illegal detention and online crime operations in Sihanoukville (see Jingang Hotel profile here).

The Zhengheng New Energy Building in Sihanoukville was raided during a September 2022 city-wide crackdown on illegal gambling, fraud, human trafficking, and illegal detention (see profile here).

Long Bay in the News


22 September: ‘警方根据“热线电话”工作组接到求助个案的调查,发现9名受害者和扣留7名嫌疑犯 [Police Found Nine Victims and Detained Seven Suspects Following Investigation of Case Received By “Hotline” Working Group].’ Fresh News. Link.

Sihanoukville police rescue nine detainees, arrest seven Chinese men, and find 37 Chinese who entered the country illegally, in raid of Zhengheng New Energy Building.

19 September: ‘西港一大楼涉非法拘禁 警捕7名中国男子 [Police Arrest Seven Chinese Men for Illegal Detention in Sihanoukville Building].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

Sihanoukville police rescue nine detainees and arrest seven Chinese men in raid of Zhengheng New Energy Building.

19 September: Mech, Dara. ‘Eerie Silence Descends on Notorious Sihanoukville Scam Compounds.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

Roundup of police activity in Sihanoukville mentions raid on Zhengheng New Energy Building.

18 September: ‘快讯!西港一大楼被查 疑涉非法拘禁 [Breaking! Sihanoukville Building Suspected of Illegal Detention].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

Initial report on raid of Zhengheng New Energy Building. Unnamed police officer tells reporters that police suspected people were being illegally detained there.

14 September: Dickison, Michael. ‘PR Rep Offers Money to Remove Company From UDG.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

After an earlier report on the rescue of a Taiwanese man from Long Bay, a representative of a public relations firm contacts VOD and offers money for them to edit the article removing mention of Zhengheng. VOD declines and the representative threatens legal action.

26 August: Mam, Sampichida. ‘Filipinos Who Sought Rescue in Koh Kong Not There When Police Arrived.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

Follow up on Embassy of the Philippines request for police intervention to rescue four citizens from scam compound in Long Bay. Provincial police denied any detention took place and that the four people already left.

24 August: Keeton-Olsen, Danielle, and Mech Dara. ‘Rescue Reveals Scam Compound at Koh Kong’s UDG.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

Account of a Taiwanese man who was held at Long Bay by a company operating online scams. After the company denied his requests to leave, his father travelled to Cambodia to get him out.

22 August: Mech, Dara. ‘Philippine Embassy Urges Rescue from UDG, Americans Rescued in Sihanoukville.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.

Report on letter from the Embassy of the Philippines in Cambodia requesting police intervention to rescue four citizens from scam compound in Long Bay.

19 August: ‘菲律宾大使馆:菲公民被困七星海长湾娱乐场内一家网投公司,请求柬当局解救 [Philippines Embassy: Filipino Citizens Trapped in an Online Investment Company in the Long Bay Casino in Qixinghai, Requesting the Cambodian Authorities to Rescue].’ 柬中时报 [Cambodia-China Times]. Link.

Cambodia-China Times obtains copy of letter from the Embassy of the Philippines in Cambodia requesting police intervention to rescue four citizens from scam compound in Long Bay.

11 August: 101 East. ‘Forced to Scam: Cambodia’s Cyber Slaves.’ Al Jazeera. Link.

Longform article focusing on the victims highlighted in July documentary. Highlights Long Bay project as an online operation and states police sources report rescuing 50 people from the location.

14 July: 101 East. ‘Forced to Scam: Cambodia’s Cyber Slaves.’ Al Jazeera. Link.

Documentary on some of the main scam compounds located in Cambodia, highlights Long Bay project in Koh Kong.

1 June: ‘在柬埔寨疑涉2万美元纠纷,中国男子带保镖救人被抓 [Suspected Dispute Over US$20,000 in Cambodia, Chinese Man Was Arrested With Bodyguards].’ Sohu. Link.

Two Chinese and a Cambodian bodyguard arrested after threatening a man with a gun at Long Bay over US$20,000 he allegedly owed to a company operating there.

17 February: Gu, Yuebing 顾月冰. ‘逃离柬埔寨“网赌之城” [Escape from Cambodia’s “City of Online Casinos”].’ 南方周末 [Southern Weekly]. Link.

Chinese media reports on the scale of online scams operating from Sihanoukville and the conditions in which people are forced to work. Names several compounds as sites for online scam companies, including Dara Sakor.

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