Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Duo charged over swindles

Duo charged over swindles

Duo charged over swindles

5 Anti-corruption

A Ministry of Justice employee and a police officer have been charged with fraud after allegedly posing as Anti-Corruption Unit officers and tricking people into handing over money they thought would buy their relatives’ way out of prison, an ACU official said yesterday.

Nuon Sothimon, director of the legal, complaints and international affairs department at the ACU, said in a press conference that justice ministry worker Nuon Sarath, 42, and police officer Keo Sophal, 48, from the Ministry of Interior, had been sent to Phnom Penh Municipal court to face charges.

The two men were arrested last week after complaints from two alleged victims who said they paid a total of $6,000 to the phony ACU officials thinking it would secure their relatives’
release from Prey Sar prison.

“These two people claimed they worked with the ACU,” Sothimon said. “They have used the ACU’s name to cheat money from victims. Their activities have seriously affected the ACU’s honour and reputation – and will have made people lose trust in what the ACU does.”

Sothimon said that after paying $2,500, one victim asked when her relative would be released.

“But they could not release [the relative], and when the victim asked for her money back, they threatened to arrest her and her family and put them in prison,” he said.

Another victim, from the capital’s Borei Keila community, had handed over $3,500, Sothimon said.

“They spent all the victims’ money and did not return it.”

Separately, a third person had accused Sarath of grabbing land from him in Kampot last year, Sothimon added.

Luch Sokleang, chief of the Ministry of Justice’s inspection department, has said Sarath was recently suspended from work for “improper activities” that violated ministry rules and damaged its honour.

“He has already been suspended,” he told the Post.

Sarath and Sophoan, who are being detained in Prey Sar prison while they await trial, could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the