Court Date Postponed for Seven Suspects in Ponzi Scheme Case

Police in Siem Reap province delayed sending seven suspects accused of running a ponzi scheme to court Monday on the order of a prosecutor, who said the director of the company behind the scheme would be appearing today to “guarantee them.”

Police arrested the seven on Saturday following a warning last month from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) that the company, Empire Big Capital (EBC), and two other firms were operating illegally.

“Actually, this afternoon, we should have sent the seven suspects to the provincial court, but we have just been informed by the deputy prosecutor not to send them because the boss of the group will appear to guarantee them all,” said deputy provincial police chief Thong Sokhun.

Mr. Sokhun referred further questions to deputy provincial prosecutor Sok Keobandith.

Mr. Keobandith said that “police are still investigating the case,” declining to comment further.

The SECC last month released a statement warning the public against investing with EBC and two connected companies, the Asean Instrument Foundation and the Investment Consultant Association.

Following Saturday’s arrests, Siem Reap provincial governor Khim Bunsong issued a statement that says EBC was not licensed by the National Bank, the Finance Ministry or any other relevant bodies.

Meng Heang, an investor and recruiter with EBC, said Monday that its operations had been suspended—but not entirely.

“Our operations have been suspended since the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a notification last month,” he said.

“But our office is still open for communications with existing members, like paying interest to them as normal.”

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