Royal Yongli / Royal Wynn

The Royal Yongli compound is located in Sihanoukville’s Buon Commune, not far from the notorious Chinatown area of Otres Beach. Although it has not received much media coverage, Chinese-language social media accounts have published stories about people who found themselves trapped working for scam operators at Yongli. The location was raided by the police in October 2022, but the provincial administration published an announcement saying that it found no evidence of illegal activity. As of December 2022, it apparently remained operational.
  • Published 8 May, 2023

Chinese Name: 皇家永利
Location: Buon Commune, Sihanoukville, Preah Sihanouk Province, Cambodia.

  • Yang Jiekun / យ៉ាង ជាឃុន 
  • Zheng Lujia
  • Chhean Siekleng (ឈាន សៀកឡេង)
  • Sai Lon / សៃ ឡុន
  • Royal Wynn Property Management Co., Ltd. 
  • Royal Yong Li Hui Investment Co., Ltd. 
  • Huang Jin Fang Di Chan Development Co., Ltd (Gold Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. / 黄金房地产开发有限公司)
  • Oriental Pearl Co., Ltd. (东方明珠有限公司)
  • Dong Fang Ming Zhu (Mei Hua) Engineering Decoration Co., Ltd. (东方明珠美华装饰工程公司)

What Do We Know about Royal Yongli / Royal Wynn?

Royal Yongli (皇家永利)—which goes by the name ‘Royal Wynn’ in its English branding but is most commonly referred to as ‘Yongli’—is located in Village 6, Buon Commune, Sihanoukville. The complex includes a casino, a commercial zone, a hotel, and a KTV. Its two main buildings have almost 1,200 rooms. 

On Google maps, pins for Famous International Gardens (名扬国际花园), Huang Jin Hotel (黄金酒店), and Oriental Pearl (东方明珠) are also located over the compound. 

A short video of Royal Yongli’s 2021 Chinese New Year party is available online, and much of it focuses on Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor, Kouch Chamroeun, and Kith Meng, a Cambodian tycoon and chairman of conglomerate Royal Group. They are seated with several businesspeople and the province’s military police chief, Heng Bunty.

Video of Royal Yongli Chinese New Year party, 2021. Source: Lion Media YouTube.

Still from video of Royal Yongli 2021 Chinese New Year party. Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor Kouch Chamroeun features as guest of honour. Source: Lion Media.

Still from video of Royal Yongli 2021 Chinese New Year party. Provincial Military Police Chief Heng Bunty on left, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor Kouch Chamroeun second from right, next to tycoon Kith Meng. Source: Lion Media.

Still from video of Royal Yongli 2021 Chinese New Year party. Provincial Military Police Chief Heng Bunty (left) and tycoon Kith Meng (right). Source: Lion Media.

In the evening of 17 January 2021, a Chinese man using the nickname ‘鑫义和’ replied to a blog post on the Cambodian Chinese-language site The original blog, posted by another Chinese person, asked whether it was worth going to Cambodia to work for a ‘high-paid job’ (a common euphemism for online work). In his reply, 鑫义和 warned that person not to come, saying that there were ‘too many frauds and dark elements’ (千万不要来,这里坑太多,太黑暗了).

Twenty minutes later, the man wrote another reply under a post titled ‘In Cambodia, How Much Is a Chinese Life Worth?’ (在柬埔寨,一条中国人的命值多少钱?). The post focused on the news that a Chinese couple had been murdered in central Phnom Penh by two other Chinese citizens, an incident that the police described as a planned robbery, but which led to much speculation among Cambodia’s Chinese community. Rather than being a comment on the post, his reply was an SOS message.

The message describes how he and several other people had been lured to and then trapped inside the Royal Yongli compound. According to the message, they had tried to call the Chinese Embassy, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the local police, but to no avail, and as a result he was appealing to people to help him out of the current ‘life-threatening’ situation. 

The next day, 19 January 2021, the man published another post under a question on a message board post entitled ‘Are Online Gambling Companies Now Hiring Local People?’ (网络博彩现在开始招聘本地人了?). In this post, he gave more details about his situation and asked again for help. He claimed that he and many others in the compound had been tricked into working for the company, which had then seized their documents, restricted their movements, and subjected them to violence to coerce them to work. He recounted that in order to leave, high ‘compensation’ had to be paid, and those who failed to follow orders were beaten, handcuffed, and pepper-sprayed, while those who attempted to escape were beaten and locked in a ‘small dark room’. This time, instead of writing Royal Yongli’s name in full (皇家永利), the man wrote ‘皇家YL’. He also attached a short video showing a man being tasered by one man while another pinned him to the ground with a foot on the back of his neck. According to him, the video was taken secretly and showed a beating received by a colleague who had attempted to escape.

The situation changed on 22 January, when the man made a public apology for making defamatory posts against Royal Yongli. The apology said the posts were fictitious and that he was sorry for harming the reputation of the company. In a photo of the man holding up his apology letter, a reflection in the background shows that he was closely surrounded by at least seven people while he posed for the photo.

In October 2021, a Facebook user posted a comment under a Cambodia-China Times article stating: ‘I am Chinese, I have been kidnapped for five days in Room 455, Building 2, Royal Yongli Park, Sihanoukville. Their boss is called Li Fei’ [救救我 我是中国人 我被绑架在 西港 皇家永利园区 2栋455房间已经5天了。他们的老板 叫李飞].

Comment on Facebook news post from person claiming they had been kidnapped and were being held in Royal Yongli. Source: Cambodia-China Times Facebook.

Since then, several social media accounts have posted stories of people sold into and forced to work online scams at Royal Yongli. One WeChat account that often publishes stories about individuals’ experiences being trapped in and escaping from scam compounds in Cambodia posted an article in June 2022 reporting the experience of a certain ‘Ah Cai’, an individual who had communicated his situation directly to the WeChat account holder. Ah Cai came to Cambodia in 2021 for what he believed would be an online gambling job but soon turned out to be online fraud. Initially based in Poipet, when he tried to leave, he claimed the boss threatened to sell his organs, so he did not ask to quit again. Later, around October 2021, he was sold for US$16,000 along with three others. They were taken to a compound in Sihanoukville where they were told they would have to work for nine months to pay off their debt. However, after nine months the company would still not let them go. He offered to pay back the US$16,000 he was bought for, but his proposal was rejected. Although he was never subjected to violence, efforts to resign were met with verbal threats, and workers were not allowed to leave the building. The WeChat post called the Sihanoukville compound ‘X Park’, but versions of the article published by other news sites identify it as ‘皇家永利诈骗园区’, or Royal Yongli Fraud Park. This indicates that the original author later updated the post and redacted the location name, which is a common occurrence.

One English-language Google review from October 2022 for ‘名扬国际花园 Famous International Garden’, which is pinned over the Yongli compound, states: ‘[H]onestly this place is very good starting from the service and facilities but it’s a shame they provide even deliberately make the hotel a place for chinese scammers.’

A Facebook account bearing the familiar characteristics of an online scam recruiter was posting frequent ads for work at Yongli as recently as April 2022. The post below from October 2021 sought to recruit Chinese people for Yongli’s ‘property department’, but gives no details about the type of work required apart from work hours and base salary. The photograph included in the post is looking down from one of the Yongli buildings. Barbed wire topped walls are visible in the photo.

Facebook post from recruiter looking for Chinese workers for Royal Yongli. Source: Yaya Ho Facebook.

This recruiter’s Facebook has numerous posts advertising services including obtaining visas and work permits, with photos showing Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian passports and stacks of work permits. She posted numerous photos of herself at the Yongli compound during 2021 and 2022, and also posted photos of her ‘boss’ (returned to in the next section).

After many months of denying that illegal confinement was happening in Cambodian compounds, a nationwide crackdown on ‘illegal gambling’ commenced in September 2022. This resulted in raids of various gambling locations, including small local gambling rooms and a handful of major compounds that were suspected to be running illegal online gambling and/or scam operations. Soon after, official statements on the online compounds shifted drastically, and officials began to admit that human trafficking and detention were happening, and that as many as 100,000 people may be involved in ‘illegal gambling’ (officials were still reluctant to acknowledge that many operations are in fact conducting online fraud). In Sihanoukville, 10 compounds were raided, while others were tipped off that raids were coming, or simply told to stop operating. An exodus of workers from Sihanoukville occurred, with reports that some people moved to compounds in other parts of the country, or left for Laos and Myanmar.

On 28 September 2022, Royal Yongli was raided, but the provincial administration said it did not find any illegal immigrants, cases of detention, torture, or human trafficking, and disclosed no further information. They only found that the location was lacking a proper business licence. The authorities handed control of the property back to the owners and advised them to obtain the appropriate licences and operate in compliance with the law. When the authors visited the area in late December 2022, it appeared to be active, and clothes could be seen drying on many balconies of what appeared to be dormitory rooms.

Preah Sihanouk Province Administration statement regarding the September 2022 raid of Royal Yongli. Source: Preah Sihanouk Province Administration Facebook.

Which Actors and Companies Have Been Linked to Royal Yongli / Royal Wynn

In the video of the Chinese New Year celebration presented earlier in this profile, the logo of ‘皇家永利 Royal Wynn’ features prominently on the stage backdrop. The logo’s ‘HJ’ is the initials for ‘huangjia’, or ‘royal’ in Chinese.

Still from video of Royal Yongli 2021 Chinese New Year party. Source: Lion Media.

The company Royal Wynn Property Management Co., Ltd. was created in September 2021 and is registered at the address of the Yongli compound. According to Cambodia’s business registry, as of April 2023 the company chair was a Cambodian named Chhean Siekleng (ឈាន សៀកឡេង). The company also has one listed director, Yang Jiekun, who was born in China’s Henan Province, but received Cambodian nationality in 2019. Another related company registered at an address elsewhere in Sihanoukville is Royal Yong Li Hui Investment Co., Ltd. Established in 2019, Yang Jiekun is again the director, and the company chair is Zheng Lujia, who lists his residential address in Australia.

Decree naturalising Chinese-born Yang Jiekun as a Cambodian citizen, August 2019.

Links to Cambodia’s Royal Group?

The Royal Group conglomerate is one of Cambodia’s largest business groups, and was founded by Kith Meng, who currently serves as its chairman and CEO. Royal Group has interests in a wide range of sectors, including banking, telecommunications, broadcasting, railways, energy, and property. Kith Meng fled Cambodia in the 1980s and settled in Australia, where he obtained citizenship. He returned to Cambodia in the 1990s and began to build his business empire and has since risen to become one of the wealthiest and most influential tycoons in the country. He has been chairman of the Cambodia and Phnom Penh chambers of commerce since 2005.

Although Royal Group (皇家集团) and Royal Yongli (皇家永利) share similar names, Kith Meng does not appear on the business registration of any companies linked to Royal Yongli, and they are registered at different addresses. However, Kith Meng features prominently in the video included earlier in this profile, where he sat centre stage at Royal Yongli’s Chinese New Year party. 

In November 2022, the company registered at the address of the Yongli compound, Royal Wynn Property Management, became a member of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce. Chhean Siekleng was named as chairman in the announcement. Chhean Siekleng’s Facebook page includes a large number of photos of him with Kith Meng. As of April 2023, the banner photo was a picture of him with the Preah Sihanouk Province Governor, Kith Meng, and two others, and Siekleng’s profile picture was a picture of him with Kith Meng. In several posts he refers to Kith Meng as ‘boss’, and he has joined Kith Meng on business and family trips and appeared close to him at various events related to Royal Group companies. In May 2022, he handed over a US$30,000 donation to the Preah Sihanouk Red Cross on behalf of Royal Group Koh Rong Development Co., Ltd. 

Chhean Siekleng in his office. Photo on wall shows Siekleng and Kith Meng, January 2022. Source: Siek Leng Facebook.

Royal Wynn Property Management becomes Cambodia Chamber of Commerce Member, November 2022. Source: Cambodia Chamber of Commerce Facebook.

Chhean Siekleng (back row) present at signing of Royal Group Koh Rong Development masterplan for new airport, January 2023. Source: AMS One-Minute.

Chhean Siekleng (second from left) at opening of new Wing Bank branch. Kith Meng fifth from left, Preah Sihanouk Deputy Governor fifth from right (Wing is part of the Royal Group), August 2022. Source: Siek Leng Facebook.

Chhean Siekleng (right) Preah Sihanouk Governor (fourth from left), head of Électricité du Cambodge (centre), Kith Meng (fourth from right), August 2022. Source: Siek Leng Facebook.

From left to right: Kith Meng, unknown, Peah Sihanouk Deputy Governor, Chhean Siekleng, August 2022. Source: Siek Leng Facebook.

Chhean Siekleng in Kith Meng’s Rolls Royce, January 2023. Source: Siek Leng Facebook.

Left to right: Chhean Siekleng, Kith Meng, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor, unknown, unknown, August 2021. Source: Siek Leng Facebook.

Kith Meng and Chhean Siekleng in Dubai, November 2022. Source: Siek Leng Facebook.

Chhean Siekleng hands over donation to Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor for Cambodian Red Cross, on behalf of Royal Group Koh Rong Development, May 2022. Source: Siek Leng Facebook.

The recruiter who posted ads on Facebook looking for workers at Yongli, mentioned in the previous part of this profile, also posted pictures of Chhean Siekleng in which she refers to him as ‘boss’.

Yongli recruiter posts photo with Chhean Siekleng, ‘first photo with the boss’, September 2022. Source: Yaya Hồ Facebook.
Yongli recruiter posts birthday message to Chhean Siekleng, September 2021.
Source: Yaya Hồ Facebook.

Royal Group also has a major island development venture with a company connected to Royal Yongli. In 2019, Royal Group and a company called Royal Galaxy Group announced plans to develop a US$285 million beach resort on Koh Rong, an island off the coast of Sihanoukville. Royal Galaxy Group was registered in 2019 under its Chinese name Huang Jia Yin He Group Co., Ltd. (皇家银河集团有银公司). Yang Jiekun (director of Royal Wynn Property Management) is also director of this company. 

Links to Myanmar Investors

On Google maps, pins for Famous International Gardens (名扬国际花园), Huang Jin Hotel (Gold Hotel, 黄金酒店), and Oriental Pearl (东方明珠) are also located over the Yongli compound. 

Famous International Gardens is a project of Gold Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. (黄金房地产开发有限公司), which was registered in Cambodia’s business register in 2019 under its Chinese name of Huang Jin Fang Di Chan Development Co., Ltd. A post on the Famous International Facebook page from May 2020 promotes sale of apartments at the complex, describing it as a fully-furnished luxury apartment managed community.

Advert for apartments at the compound by Gold Real Estate Development Co., Ltd., May 2020. Source: Famous International Apartments Facebook.

As of April 2023, Gold Real estate was chaired by a Myanmar national called Sai Lon, who also chairs Oriental Pearl Co., Ltd. (东方明珠有限公司) and another company called Dong Fang Ming Zhu (Mei Hua) Engineering Decoration Co., Ltd. (东方明珠美华装饰工程公司). ‘Dong Fang Ming Zhu’ is Oriental Pearl in Chinese. As noted above, there is a pin on Google Maps for Oriental Pearl and Famous International Gardens over the Yongli compound. Photos posted on the Famous International Gardens Facebook page show workers wearing uniforms branded with the Dong Fang Ming Zhu Mei Hua logo.

The authors were unable to confirm the exact nature of the relationship between Sai Lon’s companies and Royal Yongli. However, they have been closely linked until at least mid-2021. In May 2021, with the Covid-19 pandemic taking a hold in Cambodia, the Cambodian Overseas Chinese Charity and Mutual Aid Association (柬埔寨华人慈善互助协会) responded by distributing rice and noodles to members of the Chinese community in Sihanoukville who were facing difficulties. In a WeChat article from the time, the association provided six distribution points, one of which was the ‘Chinatown area’, and listed Mr Zhao Jianli (赵建立) as the contact person at ‘Meihua Decoration’ on the first floor of Royal Yongli. Cambodia’s business register previously listed Chinese national Zhao Jianli as a director of Dong Fang Ming Zhu Mei Hua. The company has since been deleted from the registry, but details can be found here.

Sai Lon received Cambodian nationality in January 2018, the same week as Sai Aung Linn and Aik Paung, two other Myanmar nationals who are linked to online operations at Nanhai (see profile here) and have connections to actors involved in Jinshui (see profile here) and K99 Group (see profile here). The business registry lists Sai Lon’s address as being the same as that of Sai Aung Linn and Aik Paung, as well as Rithy Raksmei, the owner of K99 Group.

Decree naturalising Myanmar-born Sai Lon as a Cambodian citizen, January 2018.

Location of Royal Yongli / Royal Wynn

Links to Other Compounds, Companies, and Individuals  

Myanmar national Sai Lon received Cambodian nationality the same week as Sai Aung Lin and Aik Paung, two other Myanmar nationals linked to online operations at Nanhai (see profile here) who have connections to actors involved in Jinshui (see profile here) and K99 Group (see profile here). The business registry lists Sai Lon’s address as being the same as that of Sai Aung Lin and Aik Paung, as well as Rithy Raksemi, the owner of K99 Group.

Royal Yongli / Royal Wynn in the News


3 October: Mech, Dara. ‘Seven-Story Building Raided, Only 4 Cleaners, 1 Chef Found.’ Voice of Democracy. Link (if inaccessible, access on Wayback Machine here).

Report summarising the raids on compounds and buildings in Sihanoukville in September, including the raid on Yongli.

30 June: Ah Long 阿龙. ‘10个月前被绑架卖园区不报警,如今被囚禁,悔不当初啊…… [I Was Kidnapped and Sold to the Park 10 Months Ago but Did Not Call the Police, Now I Am Imprisoned, I Regret It …].’  阿龙闯荡记 [Ah Long’s Adventures]. Link.

Chinese man tells story of travelling to Cambodia for online gambling job. On arrival in Poipet he found he would be working in online fraud. Later he was sold to Royal Yongli and was not allowed to leave.


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