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Cambodia accuses Malaysian-owned telco of 'illegal' cable-laying

Regulator warned of possible legal action against German CEO of Smart Axiata

Smart Axiata stores in Phnom Penh: The telecom operator has come under fire in Cambodia over 16km of fiber-optic cable that regulators say was laid without proper approval.  

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian regulators have sent shivers through the telecom industry with a threat to launch criminal proceedings against the German head of Smart Axiata, a Malaysian-owned telecommunications company that they accuse of "illegally" laying fiber-optic cable.

Experts say the move, which comes as regulators have ramped up auditing of the telecom sector, could have major repercussions for foreign investment in the country.

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