The legal woes of tycoon Srey Sothea and his son Srey Chanthou, who have already been charged with fraud earlier this month, are piling up after a municipal court prosecutor brought an additional charge against the pair.
Sothea, the 7NG Group managing director who is an oknha (tycoon), and his son Chanthou were charged on August 16 with fraud for selling 10,000sqm of land that never existed in Vihear Sour commune in Kandal province’s Khsach Kandal district.
The pair allegedly sold the plot to Chhun Navy, who discovered 7NG was actually not in possession of the property while she was attempting to put a fence around it, court documents said.
On Thursday, Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Plang Sophal brought an additional charge against them in response to a complaint from another 7NG customer, Sin Sopheak.
Sopheak said in her complaint filed in April last year that she bought seven plots of land totalling 700sqm from the firm on January 29, 2008, on instalments for 10 years.
But when she decided to pay the remaining on February 23, 2016, she discovered that the land had never existed, prompting her to file the complaint.
She claimed she had not been provided with the promised property, despite having paid two years ahead of her monthly instalment payment schedule.
“So far, the company has not provided me with any land. That means that it had bad intentions to deceive me for nearly 10 years since signing the [agreement] until now,” Sin Sopheak said.
Sopheak demanded Sothea and Chanthou compensate her with $100,000 to make up for the loss of time and money in her case.
The company representative, Lim Vitha, told The Post on Monday that the company would provide customers with plots by the end of the year.
“Please customers, be patient and tolerant for the company’s slowness in offering property, but the company does not intend to escape its responsibilities,” he said.
Neither Sothea nor Chanthou could be reached for comment on Monday.
If found guilty, the pair face up to three years imprisonment and a fine of up to six million riel ($1,500).
Last year, many other frustrated customers also protested at 7NG’s offices in Kandal province for not being given land, despite having paid for them in full.