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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court calls in tycoon over bad cheques

Court calls in tycoon over bad cheques

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday summonsed Major-General Hem Theng, deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s immigration police and a tycoon, or okhna, as an accomplice to his wife and mother-in-law after all three were sued for fraud and issuing bad cheques worth more than US$750,000, court officials said.

According to a document filed in the civil suit by investigating Judge Y Thavreak, Theng’s wife, Kun Kheng, and mother-in-law, Kun Kim, confessed in 2011 to borrowing $753,212.36 at 5 per cent interest from the three plaintiffs to start a gravel manufacturing business in 2009, and to issuing a series of bad cheques to cover the debt.

Only Kun Kheng and the defendants’ attorneys were present in court, Kouy Thunna, a lawyer for plaintiffs Heng Sokmeng, Srun Kimkhun and Yim Praksean, said.

“Not returning the money seriously affected the victims, because they were also borrowing money from banks to give money to Oknha Hem Theng, his wife and his mother-in-law,” Thunna said.

The plaintiffs have asked the court to order the defendants to repay the money they owe, along with an additional $100,000 in damages.

The defendants’ failure to pay, said Thunna, had caused severe mental anguish for Yim Praksean, who was unable to pay a bank loan she had taken out.

“Now one of my clients almost had a nervous breakdown because of the unpaid money from Oknha Hem Theng and his family, and her house has already been seized by the bank,” he said.

In the investigating judge’s statement, the court ordered the three defendants not to sell any property or transfer any money out of their accounts.

The three defendants could not be reached for comment, and their attorney declined to comment on the case.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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