Three men who allegedly disguised themselves as vendors from the Phnong ethnic group in order to dupe customers into buying counterfeit honey were charged at the Mondulkiri Provincial Court on Sunday.
Chin Kong, 33, Vath Dany, 26, and Chhath Vichhay, 24, were charged with fraud under articles 377 and 378 of the Penal Code, according to Lieutenant Colonel Meas Samuth, a deputy chief of Mondulkiri provincial police.
Samuth added that the trio – who were all from Prey Khla commune, in Prey Veng town’s Svay Antor district, and have now been sent to the provincial prison – were likely to face significant jail terms.
“They will be sentenced to at least two years each in prison if they are found guilty as charged,” he said.
According to Koh Nhek district police chief, Major Kan Penh, the three suspects were arrested on December 25 after villagers complained they had been sold fake honey.
“They were disguised as Phnong ethnic people and riding old motorbikes to transport counterfeit honey,” he said. “
They cheated villagers by claiming the produce they were offering was pure honey, and selling it at a cost of between 100,000 riel [about $25] and 150,000 riel [just under $40] per litre.”
Police seized more than 40 litres of the fake honey and two old motorbikes following the men’s arrest, Khek added.