Preah Sihanouk provincial police have arrested five Chinese nationals suspected of unlawfully confining five other countrymen in order to extort money from their families.
Provincial police officer Major Seng Sophath identified the suspects as Yang Jun, 34, Hou Jian, 29, Jiu Fei Bin, 33, Wo Luo Yang, 24, and Huang Wan Ying, 25, all of whom were casino gamblers living in the province.
They were arrested on Monday after police raided the apartment where they were confining the victims, who owed them money that was borrowed to gamble, he said.
“The victims had borrowed money to gamble from the suspects and did not have any money to pay them back, so the suspects caught the five victims and confined them for a few days at their rental house in order to extort money from their families,” he said. “They unlawfully confined the victims from June 30 to July 2 in Preah Sihanouk city.”
Maj Sophath identified the victims as Chen Dong Qin, 23, Jian Liang, 29, Zhi Quo, 27, Liang Yong Yong, 29 and Shi Hao Bo, 46, who were all tourists. Maj Sophath said the victims were persuaded to gamble at a casino in Preah Sihanoukville on Saturday night. They lost heavily and borrowed money from the suspects to continue gambling.
Maj Sophath said the victims were forcibly confined from Saturday to Monday while the suspects called the families to extort money.
The families then contacted the provincial police, who raided the house in Buon commune and arrested the suspects on Monday afternoon.
Police seized five pairs of handcuffs, two flashlights and seven mobile phones during the raid.
The five are being detained for further investigation at the provincial police headquarters. They will be sent to the provincial court for questioning today.
The victims have been sent to Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh.