After being cheated by a two-star general in a case related to buying flats and land, 27 families called on the authorities to find a solution because the general secretly sold the property to Prime MF Microfinance Ltd.

Pich Sarath, the representative of the families and a victim himself, said the plan they purchased from general Em Sokpov and his wife Ung Sohea started in 2018.

The flats and plots of land they bought were 4.2m by 14m and cost between $39,000 and $45,000. In the first stage, Sokpov and Sohea allowed buyers to pay using various methods.

Some people paid 30 per cent and some paid 50 per cent with monthly instalments. Others paid the first instalment and did not pay monthly. Instead, they waited for the house to be built to provide the full payment, he said.

Sarath said: “For me, I had paid the first stage which was $10,000. I will have to pay $27,000 more when the construction is ready.

“Some buyers spent more than $20,000 in the first stage as they will pay $500 more per month. However, the owners of this plan [Sokpov and Sohea] avoided responsibility and secretly sold the project to Prime MF Microfinance Ltd.”

Meanwhile, the bank requires customers who bought flats and land under this plan to pay to the bank $13,000 extra. If the house price is $39,000, you have to pay another $13,000, he said.

Ho Sok Lim, one of the victims, said they had asked the bank to help build houses for buyers to honour the old contract. If the bank cannot construct houses, buyers will have to build their own houses individually.

“The buyers require the bank to prepare a re-purchase agreement in detail and with the knowledge of the authorities. A lawyer and real estate specialist should assist and prepare documents for the buyers.

“I suggest that the bank arrange to make a hard copy for each homeowner according to the old contract,” she said.

Sen Sok district governor Mov Manith could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

Manith was quoted by Fresh News as saying he received a complaint from citizens and sent it to the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall.

Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Meth Meas Pheakdey could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction and Cadastre director Sarin Vanna said he had not yet received any complaints from the 27 families.

The Post could not contact Sophea or Sokpov.

Ministry of National Defence spokesperson Chhum Socheat could not be reached for comment either.

A Prime MF Microfinance Ltd staff member also refused to answer the reporter’s questions while the company’s CEO Kim Seang-soo could not be reached for comment.