Cambodian Youth Party (CYP) president Pich Sros is to further investigate the case of a Korean language school in Kampong Chhnang province suspected of cheating more than 300 people with promises of working abroad.
Sros said that he will submit a report to the Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng to review the case after concluding his investigation.
At least 40 out of the 300 people who claimed to have been defrauded thumb-printed a request for intervention from Sros, who is a member of the Supreme Consultation Forum.
They said they had been cheated out of between $2,000 to $3,000 for enrolment at the Buncheon Korean Language Training School in Kampong Chhnang town.
A petition submitted to Sros in October claimed that the director of the school, Sorng Sokkong, and three others took the money promising a refund if they did not get to work in South Korea.
However, when no one managed to get work in Korea, the operators of the school failed to return the money.
The petition, which was obtained by The Post, said despite intervention being sought from relevant authorities, they had been unable to get their money back.
Sros told The Post on Thursday that after investigating the complaint, he suspected that the case might involve local authorities, especially the Kampong Chhnang provincial Department of Labour and Vocational Training that allowed the school to operate.
“This case has resulted from the local authorities having no desire to find justice for the victims. The provincial Department of Labour has tried to free itself from responsibility.
“The provincial department recognised the school, but when I looked into it, I found that when the victims went to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, it said the school did not have a licence.
“If the school had no licence, why did the provincial department sign documentation recognising the school as valid?” Sros said
Kampong Chhnang provincial Department of Labour director Pov Sitha denied the allegation it had conspired with the school to cheat people out of money.
He added that the provincial department recognised it only in the capacity of a language school, not for sending workers overseas.
Sokkong could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Yem Sak, one of the 40 who thumb-printed the petition, told The Post on Thursday that he was defrauded early this year.
He said he gave money to Sokkong for Korean language training in the hope of going abroad to work, but the plan kept getting delayed, with Sokkong constantly avoiding him.
“[The school] just allowed us to get training and he also made a contract promising me that if I could not be sent abroad in March, I would have my money returned in May.
“But when we tried to collect our money, they kept saying they didn’t have any.
“We sought this intervention to get back our money because some people took out bank loans and others borrowed from their neighbours. Some even pawned belongings and sold property,” Sak said.