Seven Chinese Nationals Arrested in Sihanoukville Kidnapping Case

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Preah Sihanouk police chief Chuon Narin in a photo attached to a police Facebook post from December 15 about the alleged kidnapping.
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Police said they have arrested seven Chinese nationals in Sihanoukville after receiving a complaint from a family whose relative was kidnapped from Phnom Penh.

Preah Sihanouk police chief Chuon Narin said police received a phone call from a Chinese woman on Friday who claimed that her relative had been kidnapped and transported in a van from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. 

On Saturday, police raided two hotels in Buon commune, arresting seven suspects and rescuing the victim. Police declined to share the kidnapped man’s age or share more details about exactly how the kidnapping occurred. The woman said her relative was kidnapped for a ransom fee.

“He, the victim, was not injured, and is back with his family now,” Narin said, adding that police are still searching for two more suspects. 

The provincial police hotline has received “many” calls from foreigners living or working in Sihanoukville, Narin said, reporting various different crimes such as violence, detention and kidnapping. 

“There are still a lot of problems happening in Sihanouk and the police continue to work on that. At the same time, there are people playing around and reporting detention, but when we get there, there is nothing happening,” he said.

Khieu Sopheak, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, told VOD that police have forwarded the case to the court and said the suspects all live in Preah Sihanouk. The ministry receives “at least two complaints a day” through Facebook pages reporting detention and human trafficking, he added.

“It remains a concern for us, especially in Sihanoukville, where there are still many cases of detention and human trafficking happening,” he said.

Preah Sihanouk provincial court spokesperson Thuch Panchasantepheap said he was too busy to answer questions about the case.

Authorities have raided dozens of scam compounds and released thousands of foreign workers in recent months as Interior Minister Sar Kheng has become more outspoken against the cyberslavery rings falling under scrutiny in Cambodia.

On Monday, Kheng posted a statement to Facebook quoting Chou Bun Eng, head of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking, noting that 1,122 people had sought intervention from the body related to human trafficking cases between August and November.

Also this week, the Taiwanese government said it was still seeking repatriation of at least 300 more citizens after returning more than 400 nationals who were victims of fraud, mainly in Cambodia, according to a government-run news source.

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