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Men questioned in ‘fraud’

Men questioned in ‘fraud’

Takeo provincial police yesterday sent seven men arrested for disturbing the peace – but suspected of fraud – to the provincial court, after they were arrested on Friday in Kiri Vong district’s Kiri Chung Koh commune where they had been trying to persuade people to make suspicious monetary investments.

The men, who said they worked for Hong Kong-based Empire Big Capital branch in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Salang commune, were arrested after they squabbled with local residents. They were reportedly offering potential customers a 10 per cent monthly rate of return for 18 months if locals opened bank accounts or invested in EBC’s projects.

Provincial police official Yong Nhiv said, however, that the police had yet to determine if the suspects were involved in crimes related to fraud.

“They encouraged people with interest [rates], but we had already sent them to court in connection with disturbing [the peace],” he said. “Any charges levied are up to the court.”

Nhiy added that he had never heard any reports from people about the company prior to the incident.

Last week, seven others working for the financial firm were arrested in Siem Reap for running the company branch there without proper licenses.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance currently does not offer licenses to associations or companies offering interest rates as high as 10 per cent. The arrests came after the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) said in May the firm, along with two others, was operating illegally.

The announcement added that the SECC has not given licenses to the company.

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