Forest Torture Sparks Attempted-Murder Arrests in Sihanoukville

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Police in Sihanoukville in September 2022. (Mech Dara/VOD)
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A man was “severely tortured” in a forest, extorted for $80,000 and required 15 stitches on his abdomen in a Sihanoukville attempted murder case, authorities said.

Kheang Phearum, spokesperson for the Preah Sihanouk provincial administration, said police responded on Wednesday to a report from a Chinese man, Gou Chi, that he had received a naked photo of his friend and was told to pay $80,000 in exchange for his release.

The victim, Liang Gun Sheng, 24, had been severely tortured in a forest of unknown location. Liang, who lived in Sihanoukville’s Buon commune, was seriously injured in the abdomen and required 15 stitches. He had two rings valued at $9,000 — one diamond and one gold — stolen, Phearum said.

Police launched an immediate search, found the victim the same afternoon and arrested two Chinese suspects in Muoy commune, he said.

Thuch Panhchasantepheap, spokesperson for the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court prosecutors, said the two suspects, Xie Jia Peng, 29, and He Wen Zhao, 29, had been provisionally charged with attempted murder and illegal confinement.

Murder is punishable by 10-15 years in jail, and unlawful confinement by one to 10 years depending on the duration of detention.

Preah Sihanouk police arrested seven Chinese nationals last week for a kidnapping in Phnom Penh, and the Koh Kong court last month questioned six foreigners for abducting a Malaysian woman. 

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