By Zsombor Peter 23 July 2018
YANGON — In April 2006, in a remote corner of Cambodia’s northern Uddor Meanchey Province, not far from Pol Pot’s dusty grave, a company run by the wife of the country’s powerful army chief landed a license to look for coal.
The following year, half way around the world, another company, Uddor Meanchey Mining Holdings, was registered in the Cayman Islands, one of the most notorious tax havens on the planet. Its sole purpose was to own the coal mine and reap the returns. Among its shareholders was the Cambodian army chief’s wife — Noup Sidara.
Her own company, Ratanak Stone Cambodia Development, was by then already exploring for iron at another site that, according to a Global Witness investigation, her husband tended to personally and was believed to own in all but name.
Sidara’s Cayman Islands shares are detailed in the Paradise Papers, a