Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court has detained a man who claimed to be the chairman of the Pi Thnou Community organisation and cheated 174 families in Prey Nop district’s Bit Trang commune out of $50,000 in exchange for land.
Preah Sihanouk provincial police on Wednesday afternoon arrested Yon Sothy, 35, a vice-president of the Pi Thnou Community organisation living in Prey Veng province’s Sithor Kandal district.
Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Choun Narin said that the arrest followed an order from the provincial governor, who had received complaints from villagers about Mr Sothy visiting them and claiming to be the chairman.
Mr Narin said Mr Sothy collected money from villagers and promised them sections of state land in return.
“The court has already issued the warrant to temporarily detain him over fraud,” he said. “He took state land to sell to people for nearly $50,000.”
According to the complaint from a representative of the 174 families in Theoung village, Mr Sothy visited them and deceived them into giving him money in exchange for land.
“After giving him the money, he has failed to follow through on his promise for nearly two years now and that is why we are filing this complaint,” the complaint said.
Ing Koun, a community representative, said villagers needed the court to force the accused to pay back the money he stole.
“We ask for compensation because if the suspect is arrested without giving the money back, we will still have the same difficulties,” he said.