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Two company officials on trial over Japan job scam

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The two accused men. KT/Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried two top officials of a job recruiting firm who allegedly cheated 31 people out of nearly $80,000 by promising them work in Japan last year.

Presiding Judge Ros Piseth identified the accused as Prom Sarith, 35, president of J. Judo Japanese Training Center; and Nuth Chamanbb, 34, its chief marketing officer.

He noted that both were arrested in Phnom Penh on February 22 and were charged with fraud.

Judge Piseth said that on November 11, 2017, the two accused recruited 31 labourers from cities and provinces to work in Japan. He noted that each worker was charged $6,500 in fees.

Judge Piseth said the two accused asked the workers for pay $2,500 each upfront to arrange for passports, Japanese language training and other travel documents.

He added that on November 13, the victims paid the money to the accused who promised them they would leave for Japan within 90 days.

“But after 90 days, the victims were still not sent to Japan,” Judge Piseth said. “When the victims asked the accused when they could go, they kept delaying the process.”

He noted the victims then demanded their money back, but the accused did not issue refunds, prompting them to file a lawsuit in February.

Chhuon Phearum, a 34-year-old victim from Kratie province, told the court that he heard about the job opportunity in Japan through a radio advertisement and also Mr Sarith’s Facebook account in October 2017.

He said he met Mr Sarith in his office on November 11 and was told that he could earn between $1,700 to $2,800 per month in Japan.

“I trusted him and borrowed the money from a local bank in Kratie and paid him the advance,” Mr Phearum said. “But three months after I paid him, he did not get me the job as promised and has not returned my money.”

During yesterday’s trial, Mr Sarith admitted the offence, saying that the money he collected from the victims was completely used for their passports and overseas travel documents as well as for hiring Japanese teachers to train them.

He added that the reason why he could not find work for the victims was because his Japanese recruitment company partner, based in Tokyo, had cancelled the agreement on receiving labourers from his centre.

The trial continues on November 28.

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