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Military officer charged over Kandal land fraud

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused. Cam Post

Kandal provincial court on Saturday charged a military officer, who owns a real estate company, for allegedly cheating three people out of nearly $7,000 during a land deal last year.

A court document identified the accused as Major Pheap Bunthea, 36, the president of Bunthea Real Estate Company and an officer with the Defence Ministry living in Prey Veng province’s Kanhchreach district.

He was charged with fraud and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

Major Bun Rithy, a Kandal provincial penal police officer, said that on January 19 last year the accused sold three plots of his company’s land in the province’s Ang Snuol district to three people living in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district.

He said each plot, measuring 10 metres by 25 metres, was priced at $3,000.

A gun seized from the accused. Cam Post

Maj Rithy said Maj Bunthea demanded that the victims pay him $6,920 in advance to pay for obtaining land titles and other related documents.

He said that the accused promised to give them the titles and other documents within three months after they paid the money.

“But after three months and after the victims paid him a total of $6,920, he did not have any land to offer them,” he said. “When the victims demanded their money back, he did not repay them.”

Maj Rithy said the three victims complained to the provincial penal police on January 25.

He noted that Maj Bunthea was arrested on February 28 in Ang Snuol district and police seized a car, a pistol and ten bullets as well as other related documents from him.

The accused is now in prison pending trial.

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