Police in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district on Tuesday arrested five Chinese nationals who allegedly confined a countryman in his hotel room last month and tortured him before seeking ransom money from his family.
Captain Veng Huot, a district penal police officer, yesterday identified them as Yan Hang Kai, 19; Zhang Yang, 20; Li Xinmao, 18; Wang Yang Jim, 19; and Wang Yang, 18.
Capt Huot noted that they all were Chinese tourists staying at the Phteas Meas Guesthouse in Boeng Keng Kang district’s Tuol Svay Prey II commune.
He identified the victim as Wu Shi Long, 25, a Chinese tourist staying at Lucky Star II Hotel in Tuol Kork district.
Capt Huot said that on September 24, the victim lost his passport and went to the Chinese embassy in Chamkar Mon district.
He said that Mr Wu saw the suspects outside the embassy and told them about the loss.
Cap Huot said the suspects told him that they knew embassy staff and could solve his problem quickly.
He noted that in gratitude Mr Wu invited them to have dinner and drinks with him in his hotel room.
Capt Huot said that at about 5.30pm the suspects went to the room, caught the victim, tied his hands with ropes and confined him in the room.
“They beat him up with sticks and cable wire and caused serious injuries on the face and body,” he said. “After beating and torturing him, they filmed his injures and sent the photos via Facebook messenger to his family in China asking them to send $3,000 to secure his release.”
Capt Huot said the next day, the family sent the amount through money transfer.
“But after they received the $3,000 from the victim’s family, they did not release him,” he noted. “They continued to extort the family to pay more.”
Capt Huot said that at about midnight on Sunday, the victim managed to flee from the room when the suspects became drunk and had fallen asleep.
After escaping, he lodged a complaint with commune police, before seeking treatment at a clinic.
Capt Huot said that at about 8 am on Tuesday, the victim went to the Chinese Embassy to report his lost passport and the extortion.
He said that he noticed the five suspects standing in front of the embassy gates and quickly alerted police at the guardhouse who promptly arrested them.
Colonel Yin San, Chamkar Mon district police chief, yesterday said the suspects are still being questioned at the district police station.
He noted that they have been accused of detention, unlawful confinement and extortion and face up five years in jail each if convicted.
Col San said the five will be sent to the municipal court today.