The Siem Reap provincial court on Sunday charged a businessman with fraud and issuing fake cheques after he was arrested for deceiving people from various provinces out of millions of dollars through an investment scheme.
Dim Suon Nat, the CEO of Enarita Development Co Ltd, was arrested and questioned in Phnom Penh on Tuesday following numerous complaints.
He was transferred to the Siem Reap provincial court on Saturday for further questioning in accordance with legal procedures, said the court’s deputy prosecutor Theng Samnang.
Samnang on Sunday declined to provide details, saying only that Suon Nat had been charged with fraud with aggravating circumstances and issuing cheques that bounced.
“The case has been forwarded to the investigating judge. I don’t know whether the judge has detained him or not because it’s out of my hands now,” he said.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Samnang declined to specify the exact sums involved in the alleged fraudulent investment scheme.
Siem Reap Provincial Court spokesman Yin Srang told The Post on Sunday that the investigating judge was continuing to question the accused.
“I’m still working on this case. No decision has been reached yet. [On Monday], you will find out whether he will be imprisoned or not,” he said.
Srang also declined to specify the number of plaintiffs and the sums involved in the case.
“I can only tell you that the plaintiffs come from different provinces. The suspect was sent to Siem Reap because the provincial court here took action first,” he said.
Suon Nat, 36, resided in Phnom Penh Thmey commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. His company,which had seven subsidiaries across the country and based in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, invested in real estate, coffee shops, bottled mineral water and education.
Suon Nat’s defence lawyer, who asked not to be identified, told The Post on Sunday that the defence team was preparing documents to prove his innocence.
The lawyer declined to say how many plaintiffs were involved or how much his client had allegedly taken from them, saying only the huge sum cited in the lawsuits was inflated.
“We are preparing documents and petitions for the court [for Suon Nat’s release]. We can’t say what the next step is until the court finishes the questioning. We cannot confirm anything now because the case is ongoing. After questioning, we’ll find out,” he said.
An administrative officer at Enarita Development Co Ltd who requested anonymity told The Post on Sunday that the company had secured investment funds from clients across the Kingdom with promises of high interests.
He said the company had regularly paid clients the promised interest until recently when it ran into financial problems. He denied the company had tried to shirk its responsibility and claimed it had instead informed the clients and promised them instalments.
“But some people filed lawsuits and demanded all their money at once, which caused cash flow problems for us.
“If [Enarita’s] owner really wanted to cheat them out of money, he would have escaped by now. He stayed because he wanted to solve the problems until the end. The issue was caused by a small group of people,” he said.
He said all the company’s branches were overseen by its provincial marketing managers, some of whom, he alleged, had forged documents and pocketed much of the funds.
He said the clients filed the lawsuits after the company started an audit on suspicions of fraud.
None of the plaintiffs could be reached for comment on Sunday. But a person who claimed to have invested with the Enarita told The Post on condition of anonymity that Suon Nat was innocent.
“The owner did not cheat anyone out of their money. I am one of the investors who had put money in the company,” the source said.