Takeo Residents Protest Money Lost in Savings Scheme

Some 50 people gathered at the Takeo Provincial Hall on Tuesday to ask officials to assist them in re­couping money they plunged into an unregistered savings scheme that collapsed, police said.

The protesters turned out in sup­port of a lawsuit they filed against the scheme’s four organizers, said provincial police chief Ouk Samnang, who otherwise would not comment on details of the case.

“They came to protest in front of the provincial hall to order the governor to help them find a solution as they said they have been cheated out of their money, so they want their money back,” Mr. Samnang said.

Chhe Soy, chief of Bati district’s Lompong commune, where the aggrieved group resides, said those heading the savings scheme could pay back neither interest nor principal to investors when many arrived seeking to withdraw funds.

“Most of the savings members went to claim their money at the same time, so the group could not pay them back their money. That’s why they allege that the leaders cheated them, and filed suit,” Mr. Soy said.

“I do not know the details like the amount of money because when they put the money into the savings group, they did not tell me, and when the group received money from the people, it did not tell me.”

Mr. Soy said he did not know the name of the four scheme lead­ers, where they were from, or the nature of the scheme. Phone numbers for protesters provided by Mr. Soy on Tuesday went unanswered.

Choeung Khmao, the chief provincial prosecutor, said that the lawsuit against the four lend­ers, whom he was also unable to name, was filed on January 19, and that the protesters had also come to the court to protest.

“The people sued the leaders for cheating them by taking their money without paying them back, but the case has not proceeded yet as they just filed the suit and I have not reviewed the facts,” Mr. Khmao said.

“After I review them, I will as­sign a prosecutor to process the case,” he added. “This morning, they just came to court to ask for updates about the pro­gress of their case. I told them to be ready to appear in court soon for questioning.”

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