A former executive of the Tela Gasoline Company stood trial yesterday for allegedly stealing more than $730,000 from the company between 2015 and 2017.
Judge Ros Piseth of Phnom Penh Municipal Court identified the defendant as Kun Bunthoeun, 35, chief of marketing with the company.
He was charged with breach of trust and faces up to six years in jail if convicted.
Sok Dara, Tela’s lawyer, said Mr Bunthoeun was appointed by Tela as chief of marketing in 2015, with a salary of $600 per month.
Through his good behaviour and strong commitment, the company’s owner trusted him and later gave him the responsibility of collecting money from all the company’s clients in 24 cities and provinces.
Between 2015 and his arrest on July 5, 2017, the defendant allegedly stole more than $730,000 from the company by producing fake reports of income and expenditures.
Mr Dara said the owner realised the money was gone after Tela’s internal audit in June 2017.
“My client has demanded the return of $722,337 and an additional $100,000 in compensation,” Mr Dara said. “So far, Mr Bunthoen has only given his car, worth $15,000, for compensation.”
At the trial, the defendant confessed to the crime, but claimed he only stole $400,000.
He said he stole the money to open his own petrol stations, eight in total, in Phnom Penh, Takeo and Kampong Thom province.
“The reason I took the company’s money was to open my own businesses,” he said. “But I planned to transfer the stolen money back as soon as my business would have been profitable.”
He promised he would return the stolen money, and asked the judge to be released so that he could start working to pay the company back.
The verdict is due on December 19.