An elderly tycoon was arrested and jailed last week on charges of breach of trust following a complaint from his younger brother, also a wealthy businessman, after the siblings clashed over a real estate deal, the National Police said on Saturday.
Huot Seng Long, owner of Huotraco Company, stands accused of deceiving his brother Huot Vanthan, owner of mobile network operator Beeline, by selling his house without his knowledge, according to a post on the National Police website.
Mr. Vanthan filed a police complaint stating that he bought a house in Phnom Penh’s Tonle Bassac commune in August last year and put his brother’s name down as his representative. Mr. Vanthan claims that Mr. Seng Long then altered the documents to state that he was the property’s owner and sold the home in December.
Mr. Vanthan only discovered the alleged scheme on May 20, according to the National Police website. He could not be reached for comment Sunday.
“Oknha Huot Seng Long will face prison time of one to six years and a fine of one to six million riel [$250 to $1,500] if found guilty,” the website said, noting that Mr. Seng Long was arrested on June 11. “[Mr. Vanthan] asked the police to find justice for him.”
Mr. Seng Long, 76, who also owns the companies CIT Ltd. and Data Management Center Co. Ltd., was taken to hospital after his arrest, where he spent two days and received treatment for high blood pressure.
The court charged Mr. Seng Long on Saturday and sent him to Phnom Penh’s PJ Prison for pretrial detention.
Hou Puthvisal, the director of PJ Prison, said Mr. Seng Long remains ill, but is able to walk.
Huot Seng Try, 62, a third brother, took out ad space in local newspapers on May 26 to publicly denounce Mr. Seng Long.
“I would like to inform friends and relatives who live in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the United States, France and Australia that I would like to denounce my older brother Huot Seng Long because he has decided to stop our relationship,” read the advertisement, which featured thumbnail pictures of the brothers.
“He behaved badly and made false allegations against me, his younger brother, by accusing me of illegally going to his house.”
The ad did not refer directly to the real estate dispute between Mr. Seng Long and Mr. Vanthan.
Lieutenant General Mok Chito, chief of central justice at the Ministry of Interior’s police department, said Mr. Seng Long had confessed to having improperly altered the real estate documents.
“He confessed that he did it,” Lt. Gen. Chito said, adding that the crime had occurred because the brothers “trusted each other.”
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