A Malaysian national accused of scamming Cambodians out of some $300,000 was released from police custody on Tuesday evening, though authorities are holding his passport, an immigration official said yesterday.
Ouk Hay Seila, director of investigations at the General Department of Immigration, said yesterday that Ng Chin Chin, who was arrested at the Phnom Penh International Airport on Tuesday based on victim complaints, had offered to settle the matter with his accusers.
“He has agreed to settle, so we released him and seized his passport so that he can handle the case with his business partners,” he said. “The director general of immigration [Sok Phal] said we cannot detain him because it is a business matter, so we let him go settle with [the plaintiffs], but he cannot leave the Kingdom.”
Eleven people claiming to be victims wrote a complaint filed yesterday to the Interior Ministry and the municipal prosecutor’s office that they had been promised dividends for investing in a “network marketing” scheme for Solarwarm – a seaweed farming company – only to have the promise fall through. They are demanding some $300,000 be returned.
One alleged victim, who declined to be named, said the structure of the business was similar to a pyramid scheme, with investors recruiting other investors and receiving a 10 per cent cut of the money they bring in. “I invested $5,000 and was promised to get back $700 per month, but I only got around $1,000 and no more return on my investment,” he said.
Ro Bora, another complainant, called for legal action against Ng, saying the man “has not shown up to face the problem”.