Police in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday arrested eight Chinese nationals suspected of confining two of their countrymen over a gambling debt.
Major Sok Rithy, an officer with the provincial general crimes department, yesterday said the eight were loan sharks working for a Chinese-owned casino in Sihanoukville.
Maj Rithy said provincial internal security police worked with his department and a provincial court prosecutor to rescue the victims and arrest the suspects at about 8.30pm on Monday.
He said the victims were rescued from a room located on the casino’s fifth floor.
“They were arrested after police raided [the eight’s] rented room at the casino in Sihanoukville,” Maj Rithy said. “After the arrests, police rescued two Chinese victims from the room.”
“Police knew about the victims and that they were unlawfully confined at the casino,” he added. “A friend of one of the victims alerted police.”
Maj Rithy said after the eight were arrested, police seized an SUV, 10 phones, 13 ATM cards, two handcuffs, a flashlight and other materials.
Colonel Sao Sean, chief of the provincial internal security police department, yesterday said the eight were detained at the provincial police headquarters for questioning, while the victims, who were badly beaten, were sent to a private clinic.
“Our experts have been interrogating them in order to identify the ringleader and other suspects who may have been linked to the case,” Col Sean said. “After they’re done being questioned, we will send them to the provincial court for more questioning.”
He added that the suspects are accused of unlawful confinement, which carries a sentence of up to five years if found guilty.