UK to Request Extradition of Biofuel Company’s Chairman
by Simon Lewis (Cambodia Daily) The U.K.’s fraud office plans to request the extradition of a British national currently detained in Cambodia, after it brought charges against four people for their part in a $36 million Ponzi scheme involving a biofuel plantation.
Gregg Fryett was arrested in Phnom Penh in March and charged by the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court after an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) into a deal to purchase land from the wife of former Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Commander-in-Chief Ke Kim Yan.
The ACU investigation followed the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) freezing the assets of Sustainable Agro Energy (SAE), a London-based firm for which Mr. Fryett was chairman, in February 2012.
The SFO in court filings alleged that the company was running a Ponzi scheme for the benefit of its directors that involved selling people in the U.K. a stake in land in Cambodia that would be used to grow jatropha—a tree whose fruit can be used to make biodiesel.
The statement named the men as former SAE director Gary West, former CEO James Whale, former financial controller Fung Fong Wong and Stuart Stone, an independent financial adviser associated with the company.
“The value of alleged fraud is approximately £23m [$35.8 million] and the offenses are said to have taken place between April 2011 and February 2012,” the statement says. READ MORE