Police arrested two Chinese nationals in Banteay Meanchey province after allegedly detaining and extorting two victims recruited to work for an online company.
Provincial police chief Sith Los said the two suspects, Sin Sao Sun, 36, and Kao Chhong, 35, were arrested on Monday and Tuesday for illegal detention, extortion and human trafficking.
“I am investigating now. Please be understanding — [details] could give an advantage to the perpetrator, and we are working with Phnom Penh. The case is still at the police and has not reached the court yet — it is in the investigating process and we cannot leak information,” Los said.
According to a post on the National Police website on Thursday, Poipet city police chief Sao Saroeun received information from residents that two men were being detained at a room in Phsar Kandal commune. The police force arrived at the scene, and with the cooperation of the building owner freed the two victims, Doeun Dat and Chim Kdeb, both 33. Si was arrested there, while Kao was arrested the following morning.
Two victims testified that they had been interviewed for a job on October 9. Six candidates were driven from Phnom Penh to Poipet in a car, but only the two were interviewed again after arrival. Then they were handcuffed and told a recruiter had sold them, and if they did not pay money they would be detained for six months, according to the National Police post.
Si was an online manager who confessed to using a recruiter to find six Thai workers, the post said. Two candidates passed their interviews, but they were Cambodian, not Thai, and he felt he was cheated. He handcuffed the victims to show the recruiter and asked for reimbursement, according to National Police.
Kao, meanwhile, admitted to working as a manager for the business, but denied involvement in handcuffing the two victims, the post said.
The two victims are demanding $30,000 in compensation.
The case came amid recent reports on trafficked foreign workers being detained in Cambodia, largely in Sihanoukville.
Separately, Sihanoukville’s Buon commune police chief Sam Prak said on Thursday that police had found a Chinese woman naked and with many bodily injuries along Independence Avenue on Tuesday. “She has been helped and taken to the hospital by her Chinese relatives,” Prak said.
Khy Visal, Sihanoukville police chief, said the woman was still unconscious. “We still don’t know what happened to her,” Visal said. “When she wakes up, we can ask what happened and how she suffered injuries to her arms and body.”