Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Supreme Court hears case of $10,000 Battambang theft

Supreme Court hears case of $10,000 Battambang theft

Supreme Court hears case of $10,000 Battambang theft

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the case of three people convicted of stealing $10,000 from a Battambang company in 2015.

Since only one of the three had been sent to prison and ordered to repay the money – and is unable to do so – the firm’s owner is seeking repayment from, and harsher sentences for, the other two, who were convicted of being accomplices but were given suspended sentences.

The provincial court in 2015 sentenced Loeung Bunnat, 28, to seven years in prison, while his accomplices, husband and wife Chhuon Bunroth and Nuth Sreysros, were each handed down five year suspended prison terms.

According to the court report, when the main suspect, Loeung Bunnat, 28, was employed by a company in the province, he provided a guarantor’s letter signed by Bunroth and Sreysros.

The letter stated that if Bunnat was to steal money from the company, Bunroth and Sreysros would compensate the firm. Based on this contract, company owner Chhou Fing agreed to employ Bunnat as a salesman.

Bunnat then stole $12,273 from money he collected from customers and the company demanded that Bunroth and Sreysros repay the debt.

The report said in an attempt to satisfy Fing, the accused made a fake document, containing Bunroth and Sreysros’ thumbprints, to transfer a plot of land to the company. But the land had already been sold to another party.

In 2016, the court report said, in order to obtain an official land title, Fing took the document to be certified with local authorities in Battambang province but was told that it was fake.

He then filed a complaint to the Military Police requesting Bunnat’s arrest.

The case was heard by Battambang provincial court and a verdict was handed down on March 30, 2017.

Bunnat was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of breach of trust, faking public documents, use of fake documents and use of a fake stamp.

Bunroth and Sreysros were each given five-year suspended prison sentences, charged with being accomplices. They took their case to the Appeal Court but the provincial court’s decision was upheld.

At the Supreme Court hearing on Wednesday, Bunnat told the judge: “I committed the crime alone and Chhuon Bunroth and Nuth Sreysros were not involved. I would also like the Supreme Court to reduce my sentence.”

Bunroth and Sreysros confirmed to the judge that they had provided their thumbprints and acted as guarantors for Bunnat in order to help him get the job, but said they did not know that Bunnat would cheat the company.

Prosecutor Chhuon Chantha said Fing had filed a complaint to the Supreme Court as he could not accept the provincial court’s previous verdict.

There were three perpetrators, he said, but the court had only ordered Bunnat to pay compensation. “So, please consider the facts in accordance with the law,” Chantha said.

Fing’s lawyer, Chan Rapisith, said his client could not accept the previous ruling because the lower court had only ordered only one person to pay compensation.

Representing Bunnat, Tha Sokha said since his client had confessed his guilt, he would like to court to reduce his sentence.

Presiding judge Kong Srim said the verdict would be delivered on March 22.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this