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Reality cheque: Gov’t official awaits trial in fraud case

A government official employed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was charged on Saturday with issuing $150,000 in fake cheques to reimburse a businessman for loans, Phnom Penh Municipal Court officials said.

Ouch Seiharath, 46, faces imprisonment of a year or longer if found guilty, according to Pheng Sokly, a Phnom Penh Municipal Court clerk.

“He has now been sent to prison [to await trial],” Sokly said yesterday.

The allegedly defrauded victim in the case, businessman Chea Lo, had allegedly provided Seiharath with a loan in order to establish a gasoline station in the capital. But neither the gas station nor the repayment appeared.

When Lo demanded his funds, Seiharath reportedly provided three Canadia Bank cheques. But the account, according to Lo, lacked any cash to withdraw.

Seiharath and his lawyer could not be reached for comment.

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