Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced four Taiwanese masterminds and 25 Thai nationals to between two and three years in jail for operating VoIP scams from Cambodia in February.
Presiding Judge Kor Vandy identified the Taiwanese men as Chen Tungshou, 32; Lai Chiensyuan, 28; Fu Chi Jic, 29; and Lin Rueimin, 39.
“The court decided to convict the four accused Taiwanese men to three years each in prison but the term of their punishment shall be reduced to only 10 months each. The rest of their punishment shall be suspended,” Judge Vandy said.
“The court also decided to convict the 25 Thai accused, including eight women, to two years each in prison but they will also serve 10 months in jail each with the rest of the sentences suspended,” he added.
Judge Vandy noted that all 29 foreigners will be deported from Cambodia after serving their jail terms.
He said they all were charged with threats accompanied by extortion and also fraud with aggravating circumstances.
Judge Vandy said the 29 were arrested at about 9.30pm on February 16 during a raid on their rental homes in Sen Sok district by Cambodian military police and Thai Interpol police.
He noted that after their arrests, police seized several VoIP telephones, mobile phones and other items related to the scam.
Chheav Hourlay, the lawyer for the 25 Thais, yesterday said that the judgement against his clients was unjust because although they admitted committing the offence during trial, there was no complaint about extortion from anyone.
“The judgement is not fair to my clients,” he said. “However, my clients will not appeal because they only have one more month to serve their terms after being in jail since their arrests.”
During their trial on October 18, the four Taiwanese accused denied they ran the VoIP scam, claiming they were only computer technicians. They said they were hired by two unidentified Chinese men, who are at large, and paid $2,000 monthly.
But the 25 Thais admitted committing the offence, saying that they were hired by the four Taiwanese and paid $700 to $1,500 per month each. They said that they took part in the scam because they are poor and needed the money to support their families in Thailand.