Naval Officer Accused Of Fraud in Land Deal

A Cambodian Navy official was arrested Monday in Phnom Penh and charged with breach of trust for allegedly defrauding two people in a land deal of nearly $400,000, authorities said Wednesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Chan Thorn, 44, allegedly told two people in Sihanoukville that he would sell them a large tract of land near the city for $390,000, but after he was paid Lt. Col. Thorn did not follow through with the deal, said Bun Sathya, municipal police chief for minor crimes.

Mr. Sathya said the officer, who was assigned to the Ream Naval Base, was arrested Monday morning while driving his Lexus and was charged the same day.

He added that a pistol was found in Lt. Col. Thorn’s vehicle. “After questioning, Municipal Court Judge Heng Kesaro charged him with breach of trust.

The suspect was brought to pretrial detention at Prey Sar prison on Monday evening to await his hearing,” he said.

Hing Puth Sara, deputy commander of Ream Naval Base, said he had received information about the case but did not know Lt. Col. Thorn.

“We got the information about this arrest, but we don’t know about this officer,” he said.

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