PM Orders Help for Ponzi Fraud Victims

Leng Channa, owner of Brilliant City World, was arrested over money laundering in March.

PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Manet has ordered the head of the government's legal team, Ky Tech, to defend the interests of the fraud victims of developer  Leng Channa.



Leng Channa, owner of Brilliant City World, was arrested over money laundering in March.



“I decided to entrust Ky Tech to protect and represent the citizens in any cases being handled by the prosecution and the judiciary,” the PM said before leaving for South Korea on May 15. 



He ordered a thorough investigation into the Ponzi scheme involved in the scam.



On April 17, the Siem Reap Provincial Court remanded five defendants in custody and froze 183 bank accounts and assets in connection with Leng Channa’s case. 



Leng Channa and the others were arrested on March 12 and were charged on March 13 with fraud with aggravating circumstances, issuing dud cheques, and money laundering. Twenty-four others were ordered to present themselves between April 18 and May 17.



“We will continue to work together to find appropriate solutions for the people following the legal procedures in force,” Hun Manet said.



About 4,000 to 5,000 people claim to have been scammed by the company under the guise of investing with monthly interest. However, the company stopped paying interest citing the global economic crisis.



Leng Channa’s oknha title, given to people who give the government at least $500,000, was revoked.



In February, Leng Channa claimed to have some connection with the Prime Minister, which caused misunderstanding among the public. The Government Spokesperson Unit immediately denied the claim, saying Hun Manet had no connection with the company and did not stand behind the business. Later, Leng Channa publicly apologized.



The Penal Code says fraud is punishable by six months to three years in prison and a fine of 1 million to 6 million riel. Aggravated fraud can be punished by two to five years jail.



The Law on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing Terrorism says money laundering is punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of 100 million to 500 million riel. Legal entities may be fined from 200 million to a billion riel.



 



Originally written in Khmer for Thmey Thmey, this story was translated by  Teng  Yalirozy for Cambodianess.


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