Man charged in Cambodia over alleged multi-million forex fraud

Denise Jacksone

A Cambodian man has been told he will face a range of charges after he was accused of running a fraudulent foreign exchange company.

The 34-year-old Cheu Yary, who heads up a company called International Forex Trading, was accused of the crimes recently and has since been charged after being arrested on 27th July.

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He is also accused of creating cheques which were not legitimate and which could not be cashed.

He was arrested by officers from the Cambodian Interior Ministry’s penal department. He has now been transferred to Prey Sar prison for a period of detention prior to his trial beginning. This prison is the largest in Cambodia.

Press reports from the country suggest that the accused engaged in fraud which totalled around $30 million US dollars in investor cash, which is equivalent to £24.6million or so British pounds.

He allegedly told investors that their investments were receiving higher profits than they actually were, and then created and distributed fake cheques in order to bolster his claim.

Police are believed to have been looking into Yary’s alleged crimes since 4th July.

It is understood that one suspected victim came forward to the police with an accusation against Yary. This woman said that she had lost around $10 million US dollars – which, if correct, represents a whole third of Yary’s alleged proceeds of crime.

International Forex Trading does not appear to have an obvious web presence.

According to Kuch Kimlong, who is a spokesperson for the Municipal Court in Cambodia’s capital and largest city Phnom Penh, Yary has been charged with “fraud and issuance of bad cheques”.

“Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged him with fraud and issuance of bad cheques, in accordance with Articles 377 and 29 of the Criminal Code and Article 231 of the Law on Negotiable Instruments and Payment Transactions”, Mr Kimlong said, noting that the suspect was detained by police officers from the Interior Ministry’s penal department.

Major General Houth Taing Hoeuth, Deputy Director of the Cambodian Interior Ministry’s penal department, added further details about the arrest.

“Cheu Yary was arrested on July 27 in Preah Sihanouk province by provincial authorities and the National Police after Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued an arrest warrant”, he said. “Later on, the suspect was sent to the Interior Ministry’s penal department in Phnom Penh.”

As a major economy in South East Asia, there is a foreign exchange industry in Cambodia.

However, it appears to have avoided the worst of the foreign exchange scams over the years. Crypto scams, however, have been recorded in the regional press.

Earlier this year, for example, a Malaysian-owned cryptocurrency outlet was shut down momentarily and its main officers were arrested after it used the name of Cambodia’s Prime Minister in its advertising materials without permission.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in office for decades, took to Facebook to explain to the public what had happened and that he was not part of the scheme.


Denise Jacksone

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