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Vendors find scam, carry off scammer

Vendors find scam, carry off scammer

Tontine trouble

More than 230 Prek Liep market vendors, allegedly cheated out of some $200,000 by their tontine leader, descended on the woman’s Phnom Penh home yesterday to “arrest” the alleged fraudster, police said.

The group of vendors “attempted to use violence against her as they took her to the police station,” said Preak Liep commune chief Meach Serei.

The suspect, Tim Sopheak, 31, is believed to have absconded with more than $200,000 paid into the tontine – a complicated lending scheme in which members gamble for contributions to a communal fund.

The tontine group, totalling more than 230 fellow vendors, were so livid when they discovered the fraud, they tracked her down en masse, Serei said.

“She attempted to escape, but there were a lot of vendors who came to her house to take her to the police station,” he said.

Chhorn Dy, a fish seller at Prek Liep, said vendors grew suspicious after Sopheak’s continued evasions: “After we learned the truth, we could not endure it.”

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