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Senior police officer wanted over land fraud

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused officer. Fresh News

Police are hunting a high-ranking police official and property dealer accused of cheating a Thai investor out of $2 million over land deals in Kandal province and Phnom Penh.

A warrant for the arrest of Sarin Rathnatdanai, 35, was issued on Monday by Bun Thy, an investigating judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

The warrant says Mr Rathnatdanai is a brigadier general working for the Ministry of Interior and lives in Chraing Chamres II commune in the capital’s Russey Keo district.

He was charged in absentia by the municipal court with issuing bad cheques worth more than $2 million in Phnom Penh in December.

Interior Ministry penal police officer Ly Sothy said that according to a police report, in early 2017 Mr Rathnatdanai lobbied a Thai businessman to invest in land in Cambodia.

A tax document belonging to the accused. Fresh News

Mr Sothy said the plaintiff trusted him and gave him more than $2 million to buy land in Kandal and the outskirts of Phnom Penh for a proposed property project. However, the accused did not have any land to sell.

The plaintiff later claimed the money back, but the accused did not have money for a refund and kept asking the plaintiff to delay payment.

On December 13, the accused issued cheques worth more than $2 million to the plaintiff and told the plaintiff to collect the money from his bank in Phnom Penh, but when the plaintiff tried to cash the cheques, there was no money in the account.

The plaintiff later filed a lawsuit against the accused with the court in January.

“Until now, the accused has not been arrested,” Mr Sothy said. “Police are seeking his arrest in accordance with the judge’s warrant.”

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