Businessman jailed seven years for forgery

Phnom Penh: Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday sentenced a businessman to seven years in prison for forging a letter purportedly from Prime Minister Hun Sen and other public documents to grab state land which he then sold for more than $590,000 in 2016.

Judge Heng Kessaror identified him as Hang Vanny, 57, general director of Hang Vanny Import Export.

He said that Mr Vanny was charged with forging public documents, using forged public documents and fraud.

“The court decided to convict the accused Heng Vanny and sentenced him to seven years in prison,” Judge Kessaror said. “The court also ordered him to pay 35 million riels [about $8,750] in compensation to the plaintiff in the case.”

He noted that in November 2016, Mr Vanny forged a letter purportedly from the Agriculture Minister and a letter from Mr Hun Sen which gave full rights to his company to sell a plot of land belonging to the ministry in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district

Judge Kessaror said that after forging the public documents, Mr Vanny, on December 22, 2016, sold the land in Phnom Penh Thmey commune to Ngoun Seang, a representative of Heng Lyly Keav Import Export, for more than $590,000.

He said that after receiving the payment on June 12, 2017, Mr Vanny gave Mr Seang documents to be officially attested by the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant ministries.

However, the ministries did not attest the documents because they were fraudulent.

Judge Kessaror added that to claim for damages, the plaintiff later filed a complaint against Mr Vanny with the penal police in the Interior Ministry and Mr Vanny was arrested on July 5, 2017.

Neither Mr Vanny nor his lawyer could be reached for comment yesterday.