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Hundreds file lawsuit over fraud worth $46M

A security guard stops people from standing on the road as they gather outside National Assembly to protest against former heads of the investment firm Empire Big Capital.
A security guard stops people from standing on the road as they gather outside National Assembly to protest against former heads of the investment firm Empire Big Capital. Pha Lina

Hundreds file lawsuit over fraud worth $46M

Several hundred people from across Cambodia descended on the capital yesterday to file a lawsuit against the former heads of the Hong Kong-registered Empire Big Capital (EBC), an investment firm whose allegedly fraudulent practices robbed them of a collective $46 million, victims say.

In February, some 200 people demonstrated in Phnom Penh to demand the arrest of Malaysian national Sean Tan, a former chief officer at EBC.

Yesterday morning, more than 300 people gathered in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to file a complaint against Tan, Huot Sovann, and Chi Gosaly, the three former heads of EBC.

In addition to returning the alleged $46 million in deposits they lost, the victims also want $20 million in compensation. Soueng Panith, an organiser at the demonstration, claimed the scam affected 15,000 families.

Attracted by promises of 10 percent returns each month, Kampong Speu resident Mea Chhel said he invested $14,000 with EBC, only to see the returns, along with his investment, vanish.

“I borrowed some money from banks [to invest]. But after I got the returns for two months, the company disappeared. Now, I am working as a security guard to get money to pay the banks’ interest,” he said.

Y Rin, chief of administration at the court said the court received the complaint and forwarded it to the prosecutor’s office.

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