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Court issues injunction to top rice milling firm

BATTAMBANG provincial court has issued an injunction halting the sale of any part of Loran Import Export Company in a dispute over ownership of the prominent rice milling firm, according to a statement.

The plaintiffs, including prominent media personality Soy Sopheap as well as Uy Ang Eng, and Dy Borima, had become shareholders in Loran in July 2010, the injunction said.

The dispute stems from a decision by Loran Import Export President and CEO Lim Bunheng to set up Loran Group in November last year, which excluded the plaintiffs in its ownership structure, Soy Sopheap’s lawyer Kuoy Thunna said yesterday.

“The new company is a rice company, same as the old one. It’s not right to be shareholders in one company and opening a second company in the same business,” he said.

Loran Group had no assets, and the injunction would prevent any transfer of assets such as machinery to the company from Loran Import Export, he claimed.

The injunction, handed down by judge Saoeun Kosal Mony on July 18, halted any attempt by Loran Import Export to sell, rent or mortgage the company’s property. However, he denied three further requests by the plaintiffs, who had also asked to share in profits, for the court to make records of the company’s property, and halt activity at the mill.

Loran Import Export, represented by lawyer Khiev Sambo, had previously filed a complaint to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to invalidate the contract between Loran and Soy Sopheap’s group.

The injunction quoted Khiev Sambo as saying Soy Sopheap’s demands were not just as “the plaintiff had not yet paid in full for its shares, and had never joined in with company operations”.

Yesterday, Khiev Sambo declined to comment on the court’s decision. Lim Bunheng could not be reached.

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