Kampong Speu Provincial Court yesterday charged and detained a well-known property business tycoon accused of cheating $140,000 from a land broker in Odong district in 2018.
Investigating Judge Tith Dalin identified the accused as Sar Samrim, 42, a medical doctor and property businessman from Odong district’s Preah Sre commune.
The accused was charged with “fraud” under Articles 377 and 378 of the Criminal Code. If convicted, he faces between six months and three years in prison.
District military police deputy commander Major Vong Sameth yesterday said that in September 2018, Samrim sold five hectares of farmland in Odong’s Veal Pong commune to Mr Savuth for more than $3 million.
To facilitate the transaction, Samrim required Mr Savuth to pay a $140,000 deposit so he could start working on the land transfer and other documents, which he said will be delivered to the victim three months to the date the deposit is made.
“After receiving the deposit, he did not have any real land to show the victim as agreed because the land in question already belonged to other people,” Maj Sameth said. “When the victim demanded his money back, Samrim could not repay him and has not repaid him since.”
On May 10 last year, Mr Savuth lodged a complaint against Samrim and on June 13, Samrim was charged with “fraud” in absentia by the provincial court after he failed to show up at court three times.
On December 5 last year, the provincial court’s investigating judge issued a warrant for Samrim’s arrest. He was arrested on Tuesday at his home in Odong and has since been sent to prison pending his trial.
According to a military police report, Samrim was also arrested in February last year by provincial police for allegedly selling nearly four hectares of farmland, which already belonged to five farmers.
At the time, he was charged with “breach of trust” but later released on bail after being detained for 10 days.