Home > Local News > Pair from dubious firm charged

Pair from dubious firm charged

Monday, 20 December 2010 20:56 James O’Toole and Chrann Chamroeun 
Ray C Dam (left), chairman of ARP-OITC Group, enters Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.Photo by: Sovan Philong
Two men from a local property firm raided by police last weekend were
charged with forgery by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday after
allegedly fabricating documents claiming ties to the United Nations,
the United States government and HSBC Bank.

Municipal Court
deputy prosecutor Sok Roeun said Ray C Dam, the chairman of ARP-OITC
Group Co Ltd, and Soush Saroeun, the firm’s executive managing
director, had been charged with forgery under Articles 626, 627, 628
and 629 of the Kingdom’s new penal code, which went into effect this
month.

“We have transferred the case to an investigating judge for further examination of these charges,” Sok Roeun said.

Article
629, which relates to forging government documents, carries a jail term
of between five and 10 years. The combined charges carry a maximum
sentence of 16 years in prison.

The case follows an October
report in The Post that investigated ARP-OITC and its parent company,
the “Office of International Treasury Control”, questioning the groups’
grandiose alleged credentials and raising concerns over possible fraud.
OITC officials have previously been implicated in financial scandals in
Ecuador, Fiji and the United Kingdom.

Dam and Soush Sarouen were
arrested on Saturday at Dam’s luxurious home in Daun Penh district,
where police confiscated OITC documents and Dam’s four Lexus cars. Two
foreigners were arrested along with the pair, though these men were
later released, said Rin Savoeun, deputy chief of the internal security
department at the Ministry of Interior.

Minister of Information
Khieu Kanharith said on Monday that Prime Minister Hun Sen had “ordered
investigation into this case last month after learning that [Dam] had
pretended to be an advisor to [Senate President] Chea Sim and used that
title to grab land in Banteay Meanchey province”. The government
“welcomes” the indictments against Dam and Soush Sarouen, Khieu
Kanharith added.

Dam has been locked in a land dispute with Lay
Saran, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Phnom
Srok district, over seven hectares of land in the district.

Mey
Vann, director of the financial department at the Ministry of Economy
and Finance, said his ministry had filed a complaint against ARP-OITC
after learning that the group was operating without a real estate
license despite billing itself as an “international real estate
consultancy”.

Keith Scott, the OITC’s “chief of cabinet”, said
in an email on Sunday that he was not involved in ARP-OITC’s operations
in Cambodia, though he defended Dam, who is identified on the OITC
website as owner of the “Global Debt Facility” and “sole arbiter … of
the Tripartite Gold Commission, established under the Bretton Woods
Agreement”.

“This does not appear to be a matter that questions
the institutional and international authorities of Dr Dam,” Scott said.
“Those I know to be genuine.” 

Phnom Penh Post 
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Categories: Local News
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