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More arrests at investment firm

Fifteen people have now been charged over an alleged investment scam involving Hong Kong-based fund management company Empire Big Capital (EBC), with seven appearing before Takeo Provincial Court yesterday.

Vice prosecutor Chey Rithy said the group of seven, charged under fraud articles 377 and 378, were trying to lure investors by promising of interest rates of between 10 and 40
per cent per month if they deposited cash with the firm.

The suspects include Nhi Rinouv, 24; Lay Lorn, 46; Yaen Sokny, 25; Sin Kosal, 35; Sao Senghour, 35; Seang Srey, 25; and Tep Sao, 66.

They face a maximum prison sentence of three years and fines of up to $1,500 if found guilty, Rithy said.

The Takeo EBC employees were arrested on June 12 in Kirvong District’s Kiri Chongkoh commune less than a week after eight people from the same company were detained in Siem Reap.

Speaking yesterday, Lieutenant Colonel Phoeng Chandareth, chief of the provincial serious penal police unit in Siem Reap, confirmed the Siem Reap employees had also been charged with fraud.

The crackdown on EBC came after the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) said in May the firm, along with two others, was operating illegally.

President of Empire Big Capital Limited Houth Sovann yesterday denied his company was unlicensed, calling the charges “unjust”.

He claimed the investment program was not illegal, but misunderstood because it was new.

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