Acleda Bank Employees Charged Over $1M Forgery

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Saturday charged six employees of Acleda Bank’s Battambang City branch over their alleged roles in forging loan repayment documents worth more than $1 million, a court official said.

Branch manager Nhoek Saran, 36, and staffers Siv Sopheak, 38, Lev Chhay, 38, Boeun Samnong, 37, Chea Sela, 34, and Chhorn Toen, 38, were arrested on Tuesday after bank president In Channy filed a complaint accusing them of approving a series of 12 loans worth between $18,000 and $100,000 and then forging paperwork showing repayments that were never paid.

Investigating Judge Svay Tonh charged the suspects with forgery and breach of special trust by administrators, court spokesman Ly Sophana said.

“The investigating judge has decided to send the accused to provisional detention,” he said.

The suspects face a maximum of five years in prison and a 10 million riel fine, or about $2,500, for breach of trust and a maximum of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 5 million riel, or about $1,250, for forgery.

Mr. Channy said the suspects had failed to comply with the company’s loan policy when authorizing the credit.

“Disbursing loans must be based on the situation of the customers, like jobs and income, but they did not disburse credit according to the principles, causing the repayment failure,” he said.

Mr. Channy said the bank would demand that the suspects repay $1.07 million in missing funds.

“We demand that they acknowledge their mistake and pay it back,” he said.

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