Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a woman accused of issuing a dud cheque to a Japanese businessman in 2016.
Judge Ky Rithy identified the accused as Meng Vanly, a 37-year-old real estate broker living in Chom Chao II commune in Por Senchey district.
Judge Rithy said the accused was charged with breach of trust and issuing a bad cheque.
He noted that Ms Vanly was arrested by the Interior Ministry’s penal police department on August 22 last year in her house in Chom Chao II commune.
Judge Rithy added she was arrested after a complaint was filed against her by Takahasi Akirhino, a Japanese national and general director of a Japanese-owned microfinance bank and living in Por Senchey district.
Vong Phaneth, Mr Akirhino’s defense lawyer, told the court that in May 2016, Ms Vanly borrowed $45,000 from his client’s bank for her business.
Mr Phaneth noted that after borrowing the money, Ms Vanly had routinely paid monthly fees for the first five months.
Mr Phaneth said since Ms Vanly did not pay for several months, his client filed a complaint against her to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in December 2016.
Mr Phaneth said on December 20, 2016, Ms Vanly agreed to hand over her villa in Chom Chao II commune and some of her properties valued at $45,000 to pay the plaintiff.
“But when my client went to inspect and take hold of her properties in exchange for her debts, the house and the other items she offered did not belong to her but to someone else,” Mr Phaneth said. “She cheated my client.”
Mr Phaneth noted that on December 26, 2016, Ms Vanly issued a cheque worth $50,000 to Mr Takahashi.
“But when my client took the cheque to the bank, there was no money,” he said.
Mr Phaneth said that to find truth and justice, his client demands $45,000 for the damages and another $500 in compensation from Ms Vanly.
During yesterday’s hearing, Ms Vanly admitted committing the offence, saying that she did not have any money to pay the plaintiff.
“The plaintiff had already known at the time that I did not have any money to repay them, but they forced me to issue a bad cheque for them as evidence in order to show that I owed them money,” Ms Vanly said. “But when they received the cheque from me, they took it as proof in court to arrest me.”
Ms Vanly asked the court to drop the charge and release her from prison.
Chim Renni, Ms Vanly’s lawyer, said Ms Vanly was forced to issue the bad cheque.
“In this case, my client was forced by the plaintiff to issue the bad cheque even though they knew she did not have any money in the bank,” Mr Renni said. “My client did not have any intention to cheat or issue a bad cheque for the plaintiff.”
“I would like to ask the court to drop the charge and release her from prison,” he added.
A verdict is due on August 9.