Creditors, Court In Dispute Over Mfone Case

A court administrator and creditors who have filed complaints against the bankrupt mobile operator Mfone are at loggerheads over whether or not to overturn two injunctions filed against the firm to stop it selling off its assets.

“The judges are now considering to drop the injunctions because we cannot delay any more as the price of Mfone’s assets continue to decrease each day,” Ouk Ry, the court-appointed administrator charged with overseeing Mfone’s liquidation proceedings, said Thursday at a meeting with about 100 creditors at Mfone’s shuttered offices on Monivong Boulevard.

Because Mfone’s infrastructure is currently lying dormant, it is suffering from a lack of maintenance, which means its value could be falling. But those who filed the complaints against Mfone say they do not want the injunctions lifted before the court orders Mfone to pay them the money they are owed.

Sin Visal, one of the three judges deciding whether or not to drop the injunctions, said that the council is looking to drop both of the orders.

“I am now discussing this with the judge council,” he said Thursday.

In October, the court issued an injunction against Mfone on behalf of Norwegian energy firm Eltek and, in January, it issued another on behalf of Chinese technology firm Huawei. Both companies claim a total of $68.73 million.

Mr. Ry said the injunctions prevent him from selling off any of Mfone’s assets to obtain money for creditors quickly. More than 1,000 creditors claim that Mfone owes them at least $160 million, yet Mfone is only valued at $107 million.

At Thursday’s meeting, representatives for Huawei and Eltek said they did not want the judges to drop the injunctions.

“This is contrary to the policy of [Cambodia’s] bankruptcy law,” said Eltek’s lawyer, Kuoy Thunna.

Aron Zheng, the lawyer for Hua­wei, which is seeking $65 million from Mfone, said, “If [the judge council] decides to overturn the injunction, the court should give us a legal basis on this decision.”

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