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Farmer jailed for fraud

Suong Sovannary (second left) leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

A 48-year-old farmer was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday for circulating counterfeit American currency in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district last year.

Presiding Judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Ker Sokhorn, said that Suong Sovannary was arrested on July 27 last year at a restaurant in Phsar Doeum Thkov commune.

He said that after the arrest, police confiscated 50 sheets of fake US dollars – worth US$100 each – from the suspect before detaining him at Chamkarmon district police department.

“The court has found that Soung Sovanny had committed the [offense of] circulating counterfeit American currency in Cambodia,” the judge said.

“Therefore, the court has decided to sentence him to eight years in jail and the confiscated fake money is required to be destroyed.”

Suong Sovannary could not be reached for comment yesterday but adamantly denied the charges during an earlier hearing on April 5.

“I am a farmer and I am an innocent person. I have not been involved or committed this crime,” he told the court at the time.  “I think that this charge is very unjust for me.”

He claimed that on the day he was arrested, he received a call from a friend called Sok Da to meet him at the restaurant where he was given $5 and a container full of fake currency.

He claimed he was asked to hand it to an unidentified man who would meet him at the restaurant. “I was arrested by police at the restaurant after Sok Da had left,” he said.



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