Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court yesterday charged three Chinese nationals over the unlawful confinement and extortion of a man who owed them money from a gambling debt.
Deputy provincial police chief Brigadier General Kol Phaly identified the accused as Wang Lee Pin, 31; Lu Ming Jian, 32; and Xiao Song, 28.
He said they were all loan sharks operating in the province and employed at a Chinese-owned casino.
They were charged with unlawful confinement and threats accompanied by extortion, he noted.
Brig Gen Phaly said that on Friday afternoon, the three accused were arrested after they confined Yang Jie, 32, a tourist, in one of the casino’s guest rooms.
Major Seng Sophath, a provincial police officer, said that on Wednesday night, the victim lost money while gambling at the Fuo Jing casino.
The victim then borrowed $4,000 from the accused and lost that sum as well, he noted.
After losing the money, the victim could not repay his loan so the three accused detained him in the guest room in order to extort money from his relatives, Maj Sophath said.
“After confining the victim, they beat him and ordered him to telephone his family or friends to secure the owed money in exchange for his release,” he said. “They detained the victim at the room for three days and tried to extort money from his family or friends but did not get it.”
He said that on Friday morning, the victim called a friend who lived in the province and asked to borrow $4,000, explaining his situation. His friend then notified provincial police.
The three accused men were later arrested on Friday afternoon when provincial police officers raided the room at the casino. After their arrests, police rescued the victim.
The accused have been jailed pending trial, while the victim has been sent home to China via the Chinese embassy, Maj Sophath said.