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Microfinance fraudsters jailed over breach of trust

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused cheated villagers out of about $125,000. Rasmei News

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday charged four senior officers of a community microfinance association in Prey Veng province with breach of trust for cheating six villagers out of about $ 125,000 in Sithor Kandal district in 2015.

Major Ly Sothy, an officer with the Ministry of Interior’s Penal Police Department, identified the accused as Ung Samon, president of the Russey Sanh Agricultural Community; Ung Yath,its vice president; Him Huot, chief of administration and finance; and Kuch Keut, secretary of the association.

Maj Sothy said they were charged by the court with breach of trust and face six months to three years in jail if convicted, noting that they were arrested on Friday by penal police in Phnom Penh.

According to a police report, the four accused in 2013 persuaded six villagers in Prey Veng’s Sithor Kandal district to deposit their savings with the association with the promise of high-interest returns.

Because the victims trusted them, they began depositing money with the association and by 2015 had handed over about $125,000.

“But when the victims requested their money to open businesses, the accused did not have the funds,” said Maj Sothy. “And when the victims demanded their money back, the accused closed the association and disappeared.”

The victims filed a lawsuit over the ordeal in 2016 and the four were finally apprehended last week.

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