Melissa Juried Kriebel
A flamboyant real estate entrepreneur with connections to larger property firms has been arrested for a second time for writing checks without sufficient funds.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Chreung Khmao said authorities had arrested Pich Sreymom, a businesswoman who lives in Chbar Ampov district’s Niroth commune, late Thursday morning.
“The prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the case of noncompliance with the instruments that can be traded,” he said, without going into details.
Sreymom was charged with issuing a bounced check under Article 231 of the Law on Negotiable Instruments and Payment Transactions. Writing a check without sufficient funds carries a punishment of one to three years in prison and a fine between 2 million and 6 million riels, or about $500 to $1,500.
When someone writes a check they can’t pay, the bank must send a notification to the National Bank within two days of the incident, and the person is barred from writing a check for 12 months afterward, according to the law.
Sreymom appears to have three companies currently registered with the Commerce Ministry: Pich Sunshine KH Realty, Bitdeal Business Development, and CEO Premium Investment and Development.
A man named Chan Sy is also listed as a director for Pich Sunshine and Bitdeal, but when contacted through a number associated with Sy’s company Property League claimed he had left Sunshine Group years ago. When asked if he knew Sreymom, he said he did not.
Sreymom was previously arrested on May 4 for allegedly writing a fraudulent check for $776,000 to another entrepreneur, Lim Hour Nito, according to Phnom Penh police.
Sreymom’s brands were prolific on social media up until November 2021: In addition to ads for plain furnished Phnom Penh apartments for $350 per month, Pich Sunshine Realty promoted a 33-story Phnom Penh tower in conjunction with CEO KT Pacific as well as Borey Nadi, a project in Chroy Changva connected to developer GC City.
Sreymom’s Sunshine brand signed an agreement in October 2020 to develop the 33-story CEO Center in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district, alongside Lixin Group and Golden Cambodian Century, also known as GC City.
Lixin Group has partnered with the international hotel group Wyndham to develop a property on Sihanoukville’s Independence Beach, and has proposed the development of ostentatious projects including a massive city within the Ream National Park. Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew Hun To is a listed director in at least one of Lixin’s businesses.
GC City has also developed the Soho Mall near the NagaWorld casino in Tonle Bassac district, in addition to jointly developing projects with Lixin.
Sreymom additionally presented another GC City project, Borey Nadi in Chroy Changva district, on a Facebook video from December 2020, which contained video clips from the opening event featuring GCC executives Yu Ka Ki and Lat Hong Leang.
Hong Leang, one of the five listed directors of GC City, told VOD on Monday that he did not know Sreymom.
After Sreymom was arrested on May 4, GC City released a letter the next day, calling her a “real estate agent” and saying she had “no share nor employment whatsoever with GCC at all.”
On Pich Sunshine Realty’s Facebook page, Sreymom also claims to have founded Naki Realty in 2015. However, a listing for Naki Group on the Commerce Ministry website shows the sole director as Meas Nget Veasna.
Nget Veasna is seen with Sreymom in photos from the May 2020 opening of Naki Realty’s second office in Phnom Penh. Naki Group, which has offices in Seattle and Singapore, also appears to be creating a cryptocurrency backed by its Silvertown Metropolitan condo in Phnom Penh’s Boeng Keng Kang I commune.
Sreymom told the Khmer Times in 2017 that she had graduated in 2010 from the National University of Singapore with a dental degree and opened Sunshine Dental Clinic in Phnom Penh in 2011. She also claimed a range of other businesses: Faceline cosmetic clinic, a coffee shop in Takhmao city, a construction company and a medicinal import company.