Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a Nigerian who allegedly hacked into the World Bridge Company’s email acount and swindled four clients out of more than $110,000 last year.
Judge Keut Saing identified the accused as Nowobodo Kingsley Uchenna, 36, the owner of a restaurant in Phnom Penh.
He said Mr Kingsley Uchenna was charged with fraud and faces up to three years in jail if convicted. He was arrested on October 1 last year.
Judge Saing said that between May 11 and May 20 last year, the accused hacked into World Bride Company’s email account and stole $113,580 sent by four Singaporean businessmen to buy condominiums in Phnom Penh from the company.
During yesterday’s trial, Mr Kingsley Uchenna denied the allegations. He told the court that he was a cook and did not know how to hack into accounts.
“I am a cook. I only have cooking skills,” he told the court. “I did not have the skill or knowledge to hack the victim’s account or steal money via the internet.”
Lawyer Khieu Vang, who represents the four Singaporeans businessmen and World Bride Company, said that according to police investigation and reports, the accused hacked into the companay’s email account to steal the money from his clients.
“He belonged to a group of cybercriminals,” he said. “He hacked the company’s account, obtained details of its contacts and messaged my Singaporean clients to send the payment for the condominiums to a fake account which he created.”
Hang Ranaza, Mr Kingsley Uchenna’s lawyer, said there is no real proof to show that his client had committed the offence. He requested the court to release his client from prison.
“My client is a law abiding foreigner doing business and living in Cambodia,” Mr Ranaza said. “I would like to ask the court to drop the charge and release him from prison.”
A verdict is due March 27.