A Ghanaian national accused of defrauding a Cambodian woman of $4,000 by claiming he could produce US dollars from paper was sent to Prey Sar prison on Thursday, Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge Sao Meach said.
Kwaku Kingsley, 35, was charged with fraud Wednesday after being arrested Monday at a Phnom Penh guesthouse, officials said.
Speaking outside the court on Thursday, Kingsley said he was innocent and called his arrest a case of revenge, though he did not elaborate.
“Nobody is happy to go to jail,” he said. “But it depends on the justice.”
A court clerk said on condition of anonymity that during questioning, Kingsley said the real culprit was a German national who had escaped.
Officials differed on how the alleged fraud was perpetrated, but in November 2000, two West Africans were arrested after they approached Cambodians and demonstrated a chemical purported to clean blackened dollar bills.
Though it would appear as if dollar bills were emerging from black pieces of paper, the trick was only sleight of hand using multiple pieces of ordinary paper and real US bills.
Municipal Police Commissioner Heng Pov said Kingsley told people that he could create $300 from an actual $100 note.
“This is not a strange case, it has happened a long time already, but our people just still don’t know about it,” Heng Pov said.
Kingsley’s lawyer Theng Meng Y said that he would ask that the court set bail for his client since the case was one of misdemeanor.
The lawyer added that he did not fully understand his client’s case because he just started working on it Thursday.