Police in Preah Sihanouk province have arrested four local journalists, a construction worker and a Chinese national who allegedly posed as police officers, planted drugs in a Chinese tourist’s car and extorted $2,3000 from his family in exchange for his release.
Major Sok Vannarith, from the provincial crimes investigation department, identified the five Cambodian men as Hak Sotheapanha, 30, a reporter from Cambodia News Plus; Aun Bros, 27 and Sim Sokda, 30; both reporters from Campost News; Chen Bunthoeun, 27, a reporter from News Online and Chamroeun Leangmeng, 27, a construction worker living in Pram village in Sihanoukville.
The Chinese national was identified as Zhou Dongya, 30, staying in Sihanoukville’s Bei commune.
Maj Vannarith identified the victim as Zhang Kang, 29, a Chinese tourist staying in Buon commune.
He said that according to the victim’s complaint, the suspects chased the victim’s car in a pick-up and on two motorbikes and stopped him. The five Cambodian men posing as police officers then began to search the victim and his car.
“According to the victim, the suspects planted a small package of crystal methamphetamine in his car and went on to accuse him of being a drug trafficker,” he said.
“They threatened to arrest the victim and told him that he would be sent to prison,” he said.
“They negotiated to pay $2,300 not to be arrested,” Maj Vannarith added.
He said that after receiving the money from the victim’s wife, they freed him and fled in the pickup and motorbikes.
Maj Vannarith said at about 10am on Monday, the victim and his wife filed a complaint with the police and the six suspects were arrested the following day at about 7.30pm at different locations in Sihanoukville.