Preah Sihanouk provincial military police on Saturday arrested five Chinese nationals who allegedly confined a countryman over a gambling debt in the province.
Major Sok Sophal, a Provincial General Crimes Department military police officer said the five suspects were loan sharks working with a Chinese-owned casino in Sihanoukville.
He said they were arrested and the victim was rescued at about 11.30 am on Saturday after provincial military police officers, led by the provincial court prosecutor, raided a rental villa in Sihanoukville’s Commune 3.
Maj Sophal noted that on October 5, the five suspects caught the victim who borrowed money to gamble at the casino but lost it all and could not repay them.
He said that after catching the victim, they unlawfully detained him at their rental house, beat and tortured him before extorting money from his family living in Cambodia to secure his release.
Maj Sophal noted that the family alerted provincial military police on Friday.
“According to the victim he was caught and confined by the five suspects at their rental house,” he said. “He was beaten and tortured daily by the suspects.”
Maj Sophal said that the victim suffered injuries on body, hands and legs and is still warded at the provincial referral hospital.
He added that the five suspects are accused of detention, unlawful confinement and torture and are still being questioned at the provincial military police headquarters.
Maj Sophal did not identify the suspects or the victim.
In another case, Svay Rieng Provincial Court on Saturday charged and jailed two Chinese nationals who allegedly confined two countrymen over gambling debts.
Colonel Srey Vutha, Provincial Anti-Human Trafficking Military Police Department chief, identified them as Fong Chi Cheung, 45; and Toeung Chen Zhang, 28; both loan sharks working with a Chinese-owned-casino in Bavet city.
He identified the victims as Yang Zhou, 23, a tourist, and Lou Zhao Jian, 25, a textile vendor, who live in Bavet city’s Bavet Kandal commune.
Col Vutha noted both accused were charged with arrest, detention and unlawful confinement and face up to five years each in jail if convicted.
He said that on October 14, both accused and three accomplices caught the two victims at a casino in Bavet city after they lost money they had borrowed to gamble and could not repay them.
Col Vutha said the five men confined the victims at a guesthouse room in the city and began extorting money from their families in China to secure their release.
He said the families contacted the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia which alerted the provincial military police.
“The two accused were arrested after provincial military police officers raided the guesthouse room, but the other three suspects fled,” Col Vutha said. “After arresting them, military police rescued the two victims.”