The Takeo Provincial Court on Monday charged a man with fraud for traveling to villages pretending to be a son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk in order to persuade locals to buy fake jewelry, officials said.
Provincial police chief Ouk Samnang said Norodom Ratha, 62, and his accomplice, Chim Phoan, 55, were arrested Sunday after receiving reports that Mr. Ratha was pretending to be the younger brother of King Norodom Sihamoni.
“After we got information from the local people we reported it to the provincial court and the prosecutor ordered us to arrest them as they were conning people into believing [Mr. Ratha] was a member of the royal family,” said Brigadier General Samnang.
Chum Chhoeun, Prey Kabbas district police chief, said the alleged fraudsters, both from Kandal province, also told villagers the jewelry belonged to the royal family.
Villagers reported that the suspects were selling counterfeit rings for between $30 to $50 and promising to return five to 10 months later to purchase them back for $1,000 each, he added.
Tin Sochetra, provincial deputy prosecutor, confirmed the charges.