A 36-year-old man was yesterday convicted by the municipal court and sentenced to two years in prison for cheating money from a group of villagers in Banteay Meanchey and Kratie provinces.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Nou Veasna said Sar Moeundara was charged with fraud under aggravating circumstances and faced up to five years in prison.
Mr Moeundara’s arrest came after he posed as an Anti-Corruption Unit official and told villagers he could aid in solving their land dispute.
Judge Veasna said the accused was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Unit on June 16.
“The court sentences him to two years in prison,” he said.
Hou Stabana, a senior officer with the ACU, testified earlier that Mr Moeundara was arrested after disguising himself as the assistant to ACU president Om Yentieng and as a senior government official working with the Council of Ministers.
He said Mr Moeundara did so in order to cheat the villagers who had been in a land dispute with rich property businessmen and government officials.
“He took from $100 to $1,200 each from four representatives of the villagers with the promise to help them by bribing court officials,” he said.
Mr Stabana added the accused had been arrested in accordance with the villagers’ complaint, which was filed to the ACU for intervention.
According to an ACU report, Mr Moeundara often travelled to meet the group of villagers in Kratie and Banteay Meanchey provinces. He promised to help them if they raised the money to pay him for his work in bribing relevant officials and institutions in order to win their land dispute case.
In early June, Mr Moeundara travelled again to meet the villagers in Kratie province and asked them to pay $2,000.
They grew suspicious about Mr Moeundara and researched his past activity and history. After realising he was a fake government official, the villagers filed their complaint.