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Court gives property tycoon bail in land-theft case

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Businessman Sar Sarim is charged with land fraud. Mekong News

Kampong Speu provincial court on Monday released a well-known property tycoon on bail after he spent ten days in jail in a land-theft case.

Sar Sarim, 42, from Kampong Speu province’s Oudong district, allegedly breached contracts and stole nearly four hectares of lands from five farmers in Oudong district.

The accused was charged by the provincial court with breach of trust and was arrested on February 7. He was sued by farmers living in Angkrong village in the province.

Pich Chenda, Investigating Judge at Kampong Speu provincial court, confirmed yesterday that Mr Sarim had been released on bail, but said he had been put under the court’s supervision.

Major Muth Sokheng, district penal police officer, said that in July last year, Mr Sarim bought nearly four hectares of land in the district’s Preah Sre commune from five farmers.

Maj Sokheng said Mr Sarim left a deposit with the victims. He had not yet paid the full amount to them.

He said after Mr Sarim received the land titles from the victims early this year, Mr Sarim sold the land to another property owner in Phnom Penh. He did not pay the balance of the money to the victims.

The victims filed a lawsuit against Mr Sarim with Oudong district police and provincial court on January 15.

Mr Sarim was arrested by provincial police on February 7 in accordance with a provincial court warrant.

Chhay Em, 58, one of the victims, told Khmer Times that on July 18, last year, he agreed to sell more than 6,000 square metres of farmland worth more than $15,000 to Mr Sarim.

Mr Em said that so far he had received only $2,000.

“I decided to cancel the sale of the land because he breached my trust,” Mr Em said.

“I would like to ask the court to force him to return my land. I would like also to ask the court to punish him in accordance with the law.”

Mr Sarim could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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