A land broker was indicted yesterday by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court over allegations of scamming another land broker of $140,000 through the fake sale of agricultural lands in Kampong Speu province in 2019.
Penal police officer Lieutenant Colonel Nuon Sothy identified the accused as So Keoratha, 53, from the capital’s Russei Keo district and the victim as Chiv Nara, 33, from Sen Sok district.
Keoratha was charged with “fraud” under Articles 377 and 378 of the Criminal Code, which carry imprisonment of six months to three years.
According to the complaint filed by the victim in September last year, Keoratha sold two-hectare farmland, in Kampong Speu province’s Oudong district, to Nara for nearly $1 million.
To purchase the land, the accused asked the victim for a $140,000 deposit to begin the processing for land title ownership and other related paper works, which he said will be complete within two months after receipt of the deposit.
However, upon arrival of the deadline, Keoratha failed to produce the land title, saying the land does not belong to him and is, in fact, already owned by other people. When Nara demanded her money back, the accused kept asking for a delay and has not paid the victim since.
To claim for damages, the victim in June lodged a lawsuit against the accused at the Municipal Court. He was arrested on Tuesday after the court issued a warrant for his arrest.
Keoratha will be sent to prison pending his trial today.