Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted a woman and sentenced her to 19 months in jail for issuing a dud cheque to a Japanese businessman in 2016.
Juduge Ky Rithy identified her as Meng Vanly, a 37-year-old real estate broker living in Choam Chao II commune in Por Senchey district.
Judge Rithy said she was charged with breach of trust and issuing a bad cheque.
“Based on the trial, the evidence and Ms Vanly’s confession, the court finds the accused guilty,” Judge Rithy said. “Therefore, the court decides to convict and sentence her to 19 months in prison.”
“The court also orders her to pay $45,000 in damages,” he added.
Judge Rithy noted that Ms Vanly was arrested by the Interior Ministry’s penal police department on August 22 last year in her house in Choam Chao II commune.
He 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 defence 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.
Ms Vanly yesterday said the judgement was unjust because she was forced to issue the bad cheque.
She added that she did not agree with her sentence and that she will file an appeal with the Appeal Court.
“The plaintiff had already known at the time that I did not have any money to repay him, but he forced me to issue a bad cheque as evidence to show that I owed money,” Ms Vanly said.
“But when he received the cheque from me, he took it as proof in court to arrest me,” she added.