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Bounced cheques scams raise concern

Bounced cheques scams raise concern

Military police in Siem Reap province arrested a 33-year-old woman this week on accusations of fraudulent activity involving writing a cheque at a local bank.

Cheque account usage, an infrequently used service only a few years ago, is gaining traction in the Kingdom. Bank officials said frauduent cheques are not a concern at present, but local police in Siem Reap claimed such incidents are increasingly common.

Soum Bou Thean, an employee at an internet shop in the northern city, was detained by police after a cheque she signed for US$13,000 bounced at a local bank, police said.

The case has attracted the attention of officials in Siem Reap due to increases in such incidents, Ty Soveinthal, a prosecutor at Siem Reap Provincial Court, said yesterday.

“We are still investigating this case,” he said. “We have met many cases that are similar to this, so we need time to investigate it deeply.” Cheques and credit spending still compose only a fraction of the sector.

Cheque writing is on the rise, said Nguon Sokha, director general and spokeswoman at the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC). The central bank, however, has not seen reports on fraud cases, she said.

As new products are developed in the sector, the NBC’s regulatory team have stepped up security measures.

“We have a bank supervison department that goes on site to observe banks. And banks are making a strong effort to follow regulations,” she said.

While the NBC’s clearing house has not seen reports of fraudulent activity, there are cases of cheques not clearing due to insuficient funding, the clearing house vice chairman Ly Thai said yesterday.

“We need time to educate people on how to use cheques because there is an increasing amount of people using them,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Thik Kaliyann at [email protected]
Don Weinland at [email protected]

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