The National Police has confirmed there have been no cases of child kidnapping for organ harvesting, after fake news circulating on social media caused widespread panic.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, National deputy police chief Kirth Chantharith said 15 recent reports of cases in ten provinces were all untrue.
“False information was disseminated and made some people afraid. This was intended to cause chaos in society. We want to confirm that there have been no such cases,” he said.
He added that police are monitoring all reports of child kidnapping.
“There was actually only one case of child kidnapping in Kampong Speu province in July. In this case, the victim’s aunt wanted $3,000 from her sister, so she took her niece to Kampong Chhnang province. Police arrested the perpetrator one day later. All other reports of kidnaps in July were fake,” Mr Chantharith said.
He warned that the spreading of fake news was making some people hysterical, citing a case in Kratie last month where a child got lost at a local market and the relatives automatically reported it is a kidnapping.
“The posting of false information will be punished. The National Police will track down anyone who posts such information, even cooperating with police forces abroad to do so,” he said.
Kampong Thom provincial police on Sunday arrested a man who posted a false story on Facebook, which said a child had been abducted for organ harvesting.
The suspect Nay Sineang yesterday appeared in Kampong Thom provincial court, where he confessed to faking the story and apologised to the public.
Investigating Judge Heng Sokchea issued a warrant to detain the man while investigations into his offence continue.
Mr Chantharith praised people who cooperated with the authorities in cases relating to child kidnappings, urging the public to treat all reports with caution and avoiding sharing potentially fake news on social media.