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Nigerian found guilty of fraud

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Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a Nigerian businessman to seven month in prison for hacking into the World Bridge Company’s email account to cheat four Singaporean businessmen out of more than $100,000 in the capital last year.

The court also ordered him to pay a total of $113,580 to four victims, who were the plaintiffs in the case.

Judge Keut Saing identified the Nigerian as Nowobodo Kingsley Uchenna, 36, the owner of a restaurant in Phnom Penh.

He said Mr Uchenna was charged with fraud and was arrested by internal security police from the Interior Ministry in October.

“Although the accused had denied that he hacked the company’s account to steal money from the victims, he did not provide any evidence to prove his innocence,” Judge Saing said.

“Therefore, the court decided to convict and sentence him to seven months in prison and ordered him to pay $113,580 to the plaintiffs.”

Khieu Vang, a representative of the four Singaporean businessmen and also the lawyer for World Bridge Company, said that Mr Uchenna belonged to a group of cyber criminals hiding and operating in the Kingdom.

He said that in May last year, Mr Uchenna ordered his Cambodian wife Sin Serey Roath, 27, to open an account in Kook Min Bank Cambodia in order to receive money from a friend in the United States.

“He was a member of a group of international cyber criminals,” Mr Vang said. “He hacked into my client’s emails to obtain details of its clients before sending emails to the four victims asking them to make payments into the account opened by his wife.”

He said that between May 11 and May 20 last year, Mr Uchenna sent emails to the four Singaporeans asking them to deposit a total of $113,580 into the account as fees to buy condominiums from World Bridge Company.

According to a police report, Mr Uchenna and his wife were arrested on October 1 in Daun Penh district.

They were arrested after they came to withdraw money from the Kook Min Bank account.

After their arrests, police confiscated a total of $28,390 from them. Ms Sereyroath was later released because she was not involved in the fraud.

Hang Ranaza, Mr Uchenna’s lawyer, could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

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