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Online crime den guesthouse owners will not be charged

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
More than 200 Chinese nationals were arrested over internet phone scams. Supplied

Two guesthouses raided on Tuesday in connection with online extortion schemes for which 200 Chinese nationals were arrested are owned by police officials and the relative of a deputy police chief, it has emerged.

The owners of the guesthouses will not face any legal action, a police official said yesterday, because they were not aware of their guests’ activities.

The Interior Ministry’s immigration department and a provincial court prosecutor led the raids in Banteay Meanchey province on Tuesday, enlisting the help of local police in Poipet town.

A police report obtained yesterday revealed that one of the guesthouses belongs to the uncle of an unidentified Poipet town deputy police chief, while the other is owned by Soung Sao, deputy commander of the border police unit 911, and Ros Piseth, chief of border police at the Boeung Sakou corridor.

Uk Haiseila, head of investigations at the general immigration department, said the 215 Chinese nationals are continuing to be interviewed by authorities.

When asked what would happen to the guesthouse owners involved in the case, Mr Haiseila said that they would not face any legal action, but have now been “educated”. “We have educated the guesthouse owners because they rented rooms to criminals without knowing about their activities for a long time,” he said.

Mr Haiseila added the guesthouse owners were made to sign a contract promising to properly screen future guests for possible criminal activity.

As for the hundreds of Chinese arrested, they will likely face deportation just as nearly 100 of their countrymen did last month over the same accusations of extorting money from people in their homeland using internet phone calls.

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