Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a man for allegedly cheating more than 60 people out of nearly $40,000 by promising them jobs as police officers in the Interior Ministry last year.
Prosecutor Keo Sothea identified the accused as Sek Sochea, 49, from Kraing Angkran village, located in Sen Sok district’s Kraing Thnong commune.
He added that the accused was charged with fraud and breach of trust after he was arrested on Saturday.
Lieutenant General Ngeng Chour, chief of the penal police department at the Interior Ministry, yesterday confirmed that Mr Sochea was arrested at about 5pm on Saturday in his house in Kraing Thnong commune.
Lt Gen Chuor said Mr Sochea was arrested in accordance with a municipal court warrant issued for his arrest dated August 7.
“He was arrested in accordance with the court warrant issued against him,” Lt Gen Chour said. “After the arrest, he was sent to the Ministry of Interior’s Penal Police Department for questioning and further investigation.”
He said that after police completed their investigation, Mr Sochea was sent to the municipal court yesterday. Mr Sochea is now in pre-trial detention, he added.
Major Veng Sophal, a penal police officer in the department, said that in March last year, Mr Sochea claimed to know many high-ranking officials working in the Interior Ministry and subsequently cheated 65 people out of $370,000 by promising them jobs as a police officer in the ministry.
“At first he claimed that he was an official in the Ministry of Interior,” Maj Sophal said. “Then he said he knew many high-ranking officials and promised to find jobs for the victims if they paid him between $3,000 to $6,000 so that he could bribe other officials.”
“But after the victims paid him, he did not find them any job as promised,” he said.
“Afterwards, the victims asked for their money back, which he did not return. Instead, he fled and never paid back any of the victims,” he added.
Maj Sophal said the victims filed a complaint against Mr Sochea in November to the Interior Ministry and Phnom Penh Municipal Court.