Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Mr. Lenderman

by Randall Rogers

My father informs me the former manager of the hotel I am running here in Cambodia was able to steal $40,000 from my account through using a faked copy card, using my number or something. I don't know how he did it as I can not even pull out that much without Amex putting a stop on my card.  The embassy investigators here have pictures of the guy going around Cambodia pulling out at ATMs like $5,000 at a time.  I caught the guy stealing or embezzling from the hotel.  He confessed and then took my passport, all my credit cards, my bankbook for an account here which he cleaned out, the hotel van, jewelry, everything he could grab.  Others, his gang or something then started breaking into the hotel when I closed it and fired everyone.  More stuff stolen but I fought, and rigged up booby trap things so say if they busted the lock on a door when they opened the door a plate or glass would fall break and alert me.  One night I just sat in a chair on the first floor in the dark in the middle of the night.  I sat silent, pitch black.  And then someone was trying to force the door open.  They got it open, started walking into the kitchen whispering something in Khmer as if an accomplice was already inside.  In the dark when the guy got near me I said some epithet and smashed a vinaigrette bottle over his head and beat him.  He managed an exit.  Thought I was through with these characters after that but the security guard in cahoots with this guy next busted in, I heard the plate break and from the third floor opened the window and rained bottles down on him and cursed him.  I was on my way to the tourist police to report the theft and all this in the morning but this security guard/cop incensed me.  I kept lobbing bottles at him as he ran away (I had the high ground) and the neighbors called the police and I was arrested and put in prison for a month and ten days.  My first Christmas and New Years spent in a big house.  I was charged with if you can believe this; shooting at the police, destruction of property and ganja.  I said you must be joking.  They weren't, or well, it's all a joke when they get someone that someone is going to prison here and going to have to pay to get out, whether you did anything or not.  I'm a criminal justice area concentration at the PhD level, it was like a surreal movie.  there was a lighter in the shape of an old relic gun that that criminal manager, Now Makara aka Bee Bee, had here as a joke thing to light the guests cigarettes.  Apparently I used the lighter to shoot at the police, broke my own place up, and had marijuana to boot!  Then under this French system I had to go give my statement to this judge with interpreter.  I told the judge the story of the manager who is still out there who took everything I could identify myself with and the van.  I told him get him!  Let me go!  And I read the UN rights book in prison and told him your system has violated about every one of these international legal codes and practices it says your government agrees to follow in this book.  He became stern but the stenographer got it all down.  Seemed he wasn't believing me so I started to question his competence.  I started to ask him first year law school questions.  But the few he let me ask he got right.  Then after the statement he brought out the bag of "evidence" against me. In the bag was the lighter (which he insisted was a gun), this I guess odd powder they were charging me with - wheat flower still in the opened General Mills white bag (cocaine?), he tasted it.  That's flour, I said, sort of like rice flour or ground rice one makes bread out of it, I told him.  If you want to make bread use that.  Then I looked, he dumped the contents on the big table I was being inquisitioned at, I didn't see any marijuana or ganja as they call it here.  Where did that go if you ever had any I asked?  He wasn't sure.  Anyway after he heard my story I thought they'd let me go.  But no, back to prison - for like thirty two or so more days!!  Finally I got a lawyer that would not just take my money and do nothing and easily after paying 4,000US I was out.  When I got back to the hotel though the police had cordoned off the place they came in and stole my new computer, mobile phones, had a good go at the booze supply. I'm still discovering things that are gone.  Someone took my Birkenstock and Nike shoes!  With no ID I could do little when I got out.  I reopened though and sold cut-rate rooms, still are as I write.  Then I was able to get 1000 US from my father by Western Union with no picture ID (one pays more to send the money and two test questions).  That's what I am living on now.  Oh also I think these folk were breaking in after the manager ran possibly to get these craftily hidden accounting records I found and have.  It appears the manager and someone with brains was laundering money through here, then moved into the making phony credit cards operations.  What is strange is that the manager's wife works at the bank he cleaned my account out of and she has access to my Visa with that bank.   

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