Creditors Claim $160 Million in Mfone Debts

Thousands of creditors have come forward alleging they are owed a combined $160 million by bankrupt mobile phone operator Mfone, the administrator appointed to the case by the court said Wednesday.

The administrator, Ouk Ry, held a meeting on Monday with companies who have already filed complaints against Mfone and a representative of former Mfone employees who say they are owed compensation after they lost their jobs as the company declared itself insolvent in January.

“Mfone owes money to hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals totaling $160 million,” Mr. Ry said.

Mr. Ry said he could not comment on what Mfone’s remaining assets were worth, as the figure  was still being calculated.

“According to the law, we have to sell the assets and pay all the creditors,” he said.

Mfone in January passed off its roughly 400,000 subscribers—considered one of its most valuable assets—to local mobile operator MobiTel, in the face of a court injunction freezing the assets.

Nim Solida, a former engineering supervisor at Mfone who attended the meeting, said that the administrator had estimated the company’s remaining assets to be worth just $105 million.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has granted injunctions to Chinese mobile giant Huawei Technologies—which says it is owed more than $65 million and obtained an injunction in January—and to Norway’s Eltek—which claims $3.73 million in debts from Mfone and obtained an injunction in October.

Eltek’s lawyer, Kuoy Thunna, said Wednesday that the injunctions would have to be dropped to allow the administrator to dispose of Mfone’s assets, which Eltek was willing to do.

Another meeting with creditors is scheduled for April 8.

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