Market Vendor Accused of Defrauding 20 in Tong Tin

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday heard the case of a market vendor accused of defrauding about 20 people taking part in her “tong tin” community savings circle.

Presiding Judge Kim Dany said that nine vendors at O’Russei Market had filed a complaint accusing Pin Chanthy, 33, of defrauding the 20 of up to $11,620 each over multiple rounds of tong tin.

The informal lending operation involves participants placing an equal sum into a pool and then bidding higher interest rates for the monthly use of the funds.

According to Judge Dany, Ms. Chanthy frequently failed to reimburse the loans from her circle since 2012.

“If you break a contract, you will be accused of fraud,” Judge Dany said.

Ms. Chanthy admitted that she had failed to pay back her loans but said the money had got caught in a separate tong tin circle.

“I’ve promised to pay them back when I’m free,” she said. Judge Dany said the court will calculate how much Ms. Chanthy owes each victim and hand down an order on June 3 for her to pay the money back.

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