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Group says investment was a ruse

Some two hundred villagers from Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces gathered yesterday and Wednesday to file complaints at the Svay Rieng provincial police station accusing the purported owner of a local water purification company of cheating them out of some $470,000 in investments.

Nov Hach, chief of police in Prey Veng’s Mesang district, said that businessman Huot Somrith’s water purification company had instead turned out to be an empty lot holding around 30 trucks.

One of the alleged victims, Soy Sarorn, 37, said yesterday that Somrith – who was arrested on Wednesday – had convinced him to invest $8,400 in June last year. He received monthly returns, so he borrowed to raise his investment to $40,000.

When a car rental company came to repossess Somrith’s leased Land Cruiser, however, Sarorn’s suspicion was raised.

Svay Rieng Provincial Police official Suos Sarin said yesterday that a prosecutor would determine how to proceed with the case.

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