Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Abbot zeroed in on

Abbot zeroed in on

Abbot zeroed in on

An abbot in a Kampong Chhnang pagoda learned last week that money can indeed be an illusion after he was allegedly duped into accepting a fake US$1 million bill, a mistake that cost him almost $10,000, local authorities said yesterday.

Abbot Chey Pho, 60, used his own money, that of his pagoda’s and even took out a bank loan to pay a man for the bill, which he was tricked into believing was printed in 1928 and could fetch a $40,000 reward from the US embassy if handed in.

Snor village chief Lun Kong said a series of meetings had culminated in a man auctioning off the “million-dollar note” inside Pho’s pagoda in Boribo district on Friday.

Two suspects – the auctioneer and a man identified as Sary, whom Pho believed was a fellow bidder – are wanted by police over the incident.

Sary had outbid the abbot, but convinced him to pay $10,000 to the auctioneer for the note and keep the remaining $30,000 reward money from the US embassy to renovate the pagoda.

Boribo district police chief Cheang Sovann Rith said police had identified two suspects – the second being a man named Ly Kim Chhay – and confiscated the fake bank note at the centre of the case.

“We have not received a complaint yet from the pagoda commission or from the victim,” Sovann Rith said. “But this was caused by greed. If he had not wanted that much money, he would not have been cheated.”

The fallout caused by the abbot’s $10,000 mistake has not been kind on his family. Pho has already begun selling his personal belongings to pay back the money and faces losing a house owned by his relatives, authorities said.

Pho could not be reached, while police are seeking the two men’s arrest.

MOST VIEWED

  • Former opposition leader tells soldiers, Cambodians to unite to fight CPP

    Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam Rainsy has called for a popular uprising after the July 29 national elections to force a change of government. He called on the armed forces and people to stand united to fight the ruling Cambodian People’s Party-led

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the