Hundreds of families in Kampong Speu province’s Baset district said they had been cheated by fraudsters under a Ponzi scheme, which claimed a return of investment of 15-30 per cent.
Several victims filed a joint complaint with Baset district police chief Um Chamroeun on December 4.
Their complaint said Chin Vibol, Chin Chanloek, Chin Sreyneang, Chin Sokheng, Chin Sreypov and their accomplices had started to cheat residents in Baset in May 2018.
The group allegedly told residents in the district that there was an investment plan, which would fetch a return of 15-30 per cent in just a week or two.
At the beginning of the alleged Ponzi scheme, the residents collected money to be given to the offenders and later received profits.
“Money in the tens of thousands of dollars was taken by the offenders. But since early November of this year, they did not pay the victims profits as usual. On November 28, the victims found out that the offenders ran away with the money for their own interests,” the complaint said.
Some of the victims spotted three of the alleged fraudsters –Vibol, Chanloek and Sreyneang – and held them at the Por Chamroeun commune hall, while Sokheng and Sreypov and many of their accomplices remained at large.
On December 6, the victims’ lawyer, Chib Chornnarith, told The Post that thousands of residents had been cheated in the Ponzi scheme. But, only a few residents had decided to file a joint complaint with the police because they only wanted the offenders to pay back their money.
Chornnarith said he wanted the offenders to be brought to justice, and his clients and other victims to retrieve their money. He claimed that some offenders are living comfortably off the residents’ hard-earned money.
“I’ll have to keep tabs on the case and see how the authorities will process it. I requested the authorities to seek and detain the offenders. We will wait and see how the authorities respond to our complaint,” he said.
Chamroeun told The Post on December 6 that very few victims had come to file a complaint. A large number of residents had not still sought out police assistance because they held on to hopes that offenders would pay back the money.
“It’s been tough working on the case because no one had filed a complaint to me, but we’ve set up a working group to search for more victims.
“When they realised the investment was actually a fraud, they didn’t cooperate with us either. We are still unsure about many details of the case as the victims don’t allow us to handle the matter according to the law. The affected residents only demanded the offenders return the money,” he said.