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Municipal court charges two men for land fraud

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Saturday charged and detained two land brokers accused of defrauding $1.5 million from a real estate businessman living in Phnom Penh over the sale of nearly 200 hectares of land in Kampong Speu province’s Oudong district last year.

According to the court document, obtained yesterday, the two accused were identified as 54-year-old Ung Bunthan and 40-year-old Ros Sokun from the capital’s Kamboul commune.

The pair were arrested on May 20 and have been sent to prison pending trial. They are charged with “fraud with aggravating circumstance” under Articles 377 and 380 of the Criminal Code.

If convicted, they face between two and five years in prison each.

Penal Police Officer Major Ly Sothy said yesterday that a police investigation on September 5 last year found that the two accused, along with Sokun’s 40-year-old wife Phath Sokkan, sold a total of 191 hectares of land located in Stok Slath village, in Phnom Touch commune, Oudong district to the victim Yorn Senghan.

Maj Sothy said that during the land purchase, both parties had signed contracts over the sale. The victim then paid $1.5 million in cash to Bunthan, Sokun and Sokkan after which, the trio then handed over land ownership documents.

However, he said that after the victim received the documents and proceeded to try to clear the land, he was stopped by local authorities who said that the land belonged to villagers.

The victim then produced the land documents that he had bought, but it transpired that the documents were in fact forged.

When the victim demanded his money back from the accused, they claimed they did not have any money to repay him.

The victim then lodged the complaint against them to the Penal Police Department in the Ministry of Interior, asking for intervention on May 15.

“Bunthan, Sokun and Sokkan were arrested on May 20 at their homes in Kamboul commune,” Maj Sothy said.

“However, Sokkan was later released by the court’s investigating judge as she was found to not be involved in the case,” he added.

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