Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday waded into the ongoing dispute between investors and investment firm GoldFX — which is linked to senior CPP officials’ family members — asking investors to continue their negotiations or file a lawsuit.
Investors have demanded that the firm return their investments after GoldFX claimed it was cheated out of $20 million by ex-board members. Investors have rejected offers to get only 30 percent of their investment back and have protested outside Hun Sen’s home in Kandal province’s Takhmao city.
The prime minister has so far stayed silent on GoldFX, whose chairperson, Ke Suonsophy, is the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, and its managing director, Sar Channet, a niece of Interior Minister Sar Kheng. Duong Dara, an aide to the prime minister, became involved in trying to resolve the issue in June.
However, on Tuesday, Hun Sen replied to a GoldFX investor who commented on his Facebook page about the hardships she was facing because the company would not return her investment.
“We are all victims, and around 500 innocent people who worked very hard to save money, especially in the context of the spread of the deadly Covid-19, we all refuse to accept this 30 percent of compensation,” commented Facebook user Lin Lin.
Hun Sen replied: “Since you have come to tell me many times, it is enough for me to respond briefly. Please continue to mediate, because you were willing to do business with each other. In case a conciliation cannot be found, file a lawsuit with the court.”
Hundreds of investors have said they lost money to the investment firm and have protested multiple times outside the company’s offices. Investors have questioned how the company lost the money and why it was unable to return their investments.
Thou Punleu, who represents a group of GoldFX investors, said he was hopeful the prime minister’s comments would push the issue along and end in the 100 percent return of their investments.
He said that while market regulator Securities Exchange Commission was investigating the case, investors were reluctant to fight a protracted legal battle.
“It will take a long time for the matter to go to court. There could be the possibility of going to court but that is the last solution,” Ponleu said.
Another investor, who asked to be named only as Yaya, was part of protests outside Hun Sen’s Takhmao house in August, but said she could not hold out any more or deal with the financial hassles, and decided to agree to the 30 percent compensation offer.
“It took five months and nothing has moved, even though I went to samdech’s house for a long time. So, I can’t work or do anything. For those who can continue to stay, just do it,” she said, using an honorific for Hun Sen.
VOD could not reach GoldFX representative Bun Kiririth or SECC director Sou Socheat on Wednesday for comment.
Pach Panharith, another representative for GoldFX, said he was only involved in returning money to people who accepted the firm’s offer of 30 percent of their investments in compensation.