Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday charged a Korean man with fraud and the forgery of a document after he allegedly faked a land title in order to sell a plot of land measuring nearly 2,600 square meters to another Korean man, a court official said yesterday.
Kim Chong Gu, 52, received $120,000 from Yoo Kang, 58, in early 2009 after he allegedly forged a land document and used Cambodian national Chhoem Chhem to act as a landowner in Kandal province’s Ang Snoul district, Judge Te Sam Ang said. In Cambodia foreigners cannot own land.
“We decided to release him [Mr Kim] on bail because he paid the court $20,000,” Judge Sam Ang said, adding that Deputy Prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth had charged the suspect.
Mr Chanpiseth could not be reached for comment.
According to a police report dated June 2010 and received yesterday, after Mr Kang purchased the 2,593 square meter plot of land from Mr Kim he took the land document to the provincial land management department, where officials told him that the document was a fake. When both Mr Chhem and Mr Kim refused to give Mr Kang his money back he decided to make a complaint with the police, the report stated.
Judge Sam Ang said that the court would also investigate Mr Chhem’s role in the case as he did not feel that Mr Kim’s level of Khmer was adequate enough to be able to forge a Cambodian document.
“I will summon Mr Chhem for questioning in the case and will not allow him to leave Cambodia,” he said, adding that Mr Kim was arrested by police on Monday. “He is under investigation at the court.”
No date has yet been set for Mr Kim’s trial.
Mr Kim’s lawyer Kong Sopheak could not be reached for comment.