Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged two Chinese nationals and two people for unlawfully confining a Taiwanese businessman and extorting $20,000 from him in exchange for his release last week.
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Lieutenant General Ngeng Chour, deputy chief of the Penal Police Department at the Ministry of Interior, identified the accused as Tsai Yueh, 54, and Wu Cheng En, 35, who are both Chinese nationals, as well as Nhim Sothun, 29, and Phong Yeng, 29.
Lt Gen Chour said that they were charged with unlawful confinement, threat accompanied by extortion and unauthorised holding of weapons.
He added that they were arrested in Phnom Penh Thmey commune on Thursday by officers from the penal police department at the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with the municipal penal police.
He noted that the group of men were arrested after they held victim Hung Chung Chuo, a 58-year-old Taiwanese businessman and the general director of Pan Well Company, and extorted $20,000 before releasing him on June 19 in Chroy Changva commune.
Major Cheng Vutha, a penal police officer with the Penal Police Department, said that at about 7.45pm on June 18, Mr Hung left a business meeting at the TK Royal One Building located in Tuol Kork district.
“While the victim was walking towards his car, which was parked in the building’s parking area, the four men, who were on standby in a hidden place nearby, caught him and pushed him into a Lexus 470 car that was parked near the victim’s car,” Maj Vutha said.
“After pushing the victim into their car, they tied his hand and legs with rope, and also sealed his mouth. They took him and held him in their rental house in Chroy Changva commune and extorted money from his family and friends for his release,” he added.
Maj Vutha said that the victim noted there were a total of five men at the kidnapping location and they ordered him to pay $100,000 for his release, adding that he also threatened to kill him and throw his body into the river if he did not pay.
Maj Vutha said that the men accepted $20,000 after the victim begged and said that he only had $20,000.
Maj Vutha said that at about 7pm on June 19, the men dropped him off in a quiet place in Chroy Changva commune after receiving $20,000 transferred by Chen Lihsien, 55, who was a friend of the victim and the deputy general director of Pan Well Company.
Maj Vutha noted that afterward, the victim and Mr Chen went to the Penal Police Department and filed a complaint.
He added that four of the five men were arrested on Thursday at their rental house in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune. Police seized a Lexus 470 car, two pistols and bullets. However, another Chinese national is still at large and police are still seeking his arrest.