Investors in GoldFX, a financial firm run by ruling party scions that says it was cheated out of $20 million by ex-board members, have sought the intervention of Prime Minister Hun Sen, saying they cannot accept the company’s offer of 30 percent compensation for their lost investments.
About 100 people gathered outside Hun Sen’s house in Kandal province’s Takhmao city to submit a petition signed by 775 people, said one of the protesters, who would give her name only as Yaya.
The petitioners had lost more than $10 million together, and they wanted their money back, she said.
Hun Sen’s assistant Doung Dara had helped the investors negotiate with the company, and though they appreciated his efforts, she could not accept the company’s offer of 30 percent, she said. Those who had so far accepted compensation had mostly invested only small amounts around $1,000, she added.
“It’s been four months already and the company has no solution for the people, for the victims. So how can we wait any longer?” she said. “We have only our samdech father. When the samdech father sees, he shouts just one word and we will be satisfied.”
Dara said on Monday that the dispute was a private transaction, and people should be able to resolve their own problems without running to Hun Sen at every difficulty they encounter.
“I told both sides that if needed, I would come and mediate to resolve this issue. I would be happy to help avoid making it worse. This is a wish that I want to see. And for all in this matter, I do not want the leader getting a headache because of our own business trading. We get profits, we lose — why don’t we know how to solve it? When we gain profits, we take it. Why don’t we solve it together when we lose or have problems? Why is it that any little thing is put onto samdech all the time?”
He said GoldFX should take responsibility for the losses as they were caused by its trading system and were not the investors’ mistake.
The 30 percent should only be the initial compensation, and the investors should be able to recoup 100 percent over time as the company’s lawsuit against its ex-board members proceeded, he said.
GoldFX representative Bun Kiririth could not be reached on Monday, but the company issued a statement on Sunday saying it would help its clients sue the foreign ex-board members who it says cheated the company. About half of its clients had already accepted compensation, it added.
The company formerly advertised its executives’ connections to business and ruling party elites. Chair Ke Suonsophy is a daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, and managing director Sar Channet a niece of Interior Minister Sar Kheng. But in an April Facebook post, the company called reports of its links to government leaders “fake news.” The company has said it is also a victim alongside the investors.
(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)