Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a woman to 30 months in jail and ordered her to pay her ex-husband $180,000 for forging documents to claim ownership of 1,100 hectares of his company’s land in Kampong Speu province four years ago.
Judge Seng Leang identified the woman as Nuon Chanmakara, 37, living in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district, and noted that she was convicted of forgery of a public document and selling another person’s properties.
“The court has decided to sentence her to two years and six months in prison,” he said. “The court also orders her to pay $180,000 in compensation to the plaintiff [her ex-husband] in this case.”
Judge Leang noted that Ms Chanmakara was arrested on December 28, 2016 in Phnom Penh following a complaint by her ex-husband, Rainer Maria Wollny, 61, a businessman and president of Delta W Trading Co. Ltd.
He said she was arrested after Mr Wollny accused her of forging documents to claim 1,100 hectares of land in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district, which belongs to his company.
Judge Leang noted that the ex-husband also accused her of trying to sell the land to a Cambodian businessman for $2 million.
According to a court document obtained yesterday, Mr Wollny and Ms Chanmakara married in 2010 and have a three-year-old son, who now lives with her mother.
The document noted that in 2013, Mr Wollny’s company bought the 1,100 hectares of land. It said that on January 1, 2014, Ms Chanmakara forged a document to claim ownership of the land.
She then used the forged document and obtained ownership of the land in 2016 after finding out he was having an extramarital affair.
The court document said that Ms Chanmakara then tried to sell the land to property developer Song Heng, 53, and took a $20,000 deposit from him, but the deal was scuppered after Mr Wollny found out about it.
It noted that the couple argued over the land ownership issue and divorced later that year.
After her sentencing, Ms Chanmakara told the court that she is innocent and her husband took out the land in her name because as a foreigner he is not allowed to own land in Cambodia.
“This case is a personal family case and not a criminal case,” she said. “My husband put the land in my name and I did not forge any document or sell company land.”
She noted that she will file an appeal.