Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court yesterday charged four Chinese nationals with unlawfully confining two countrymen, and torturing one of them, over a gambling debt in Sihanoukville.
Provincial deputy police chief Colonel Bour Sothy identified the accused as Wu Tao Tao, 30; Wu Xiong Bo, 33; Wu Xu Xiang, 27; and Ren Ji Hun, 29, all loan sharks operating in the city.
Col Sothy noted that the four were charged with unlawfully confining and torturing a Chinese man named Chen Ti, 36, and a woman Dai Yan Ying, 44, at the Khsach Meas Casino on Friday. The accused were arrested on Monday and are in prison pending their trial.
Col Sothy said that after the arrests, police rescued the two victims from a room which the accused rented in the casino. Police also seized two electronic gas lighters which were used to torture Mr Ti.
Major Sok Seng, a provincial police officer, said that the victims told police that they went to gamble at the casino on Friday night and lost money.
He said that the two friends then borrowed $14,562 from the four accused to keep gambling, but lost it all.
Maj Seng noted that because the victims could not repay the loan sharks, they caught them and confined them in the room on the fourth floor of the casino.
“After confining the two victims in their rental room, they beat them and ordered them to telephone their family members or friends for money to repay the debt,” he said. “They also used the electronic lighters to shock Mr Ti, causing him to suffer serious injuries on his mouth and back.”
Maj Seng said that on Monday morning, a friend of the victims’ told police about a phone call from them pleading for money to secure their release.
He added that at about 3pm on Monday, police raided the casino room and arrested the four accused.