Cambodian Authorities Arrest Chinese Involved in Extortion Scheme

2016-03-03
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Chinese nationals involved in an extortion scheme sit in a room after being apprehended in a raid on the Golden Crown Casino in Poipet, northwestern Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province, March 2, 2016.
Chinese nationals involved in an extortion scheme sit in a room after being apprehended in a raid on the Golden Crown Casino in Poipet, northwestern Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey province, March 2, 2016.
RFA

Cambodian authorities on Wednesday apprehended more than 100 Chinese who allegedly were involved in a scam to extort money from people in China during a raid on a casino in a northwestern border town, a Cambodian police official said

Officers from Cambodia’s General Commissionaire of National Police in cooperation with Chinese police apprehended the suspects at the Golden Crown Casino in Poipet, a border town in Ou Chrov district of Banteay Meanchey province, said Sith Loh, deputy commissioner of the province’s criminal department.

Authorities also confiscated several Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephones, mobile phones and other related technology during the raid on the casino, which is owned by Cambodian senator and business tycoon Kok An of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), according to local media reports.

Police who conducted the raid, however, refused to provide further details about the arrests, although they confirmed that all those taken into custody were Chinese involved in using VoIP technology for “online kidnapping” or extortion.

Authorities arrested about 40 of those they apprehended, who were wanted by Chinese police. They are now being sent to Phnom Penh from where they will be deported, local media reports said. The others were released after police confirmed that they had no open arrest warrants in China.

Chinese scammers have used Cambodia as a base for years to extort money from their fellow citizens through Internet-based phone schemes.

Cambodian authorities arrested a group of 168 Chinese nationals early last November in Sihanoukville province in the southwestern part of the country, nabbing them in a sting operation for using VoIP technology to extort money from hundreds of people back home.

Those who were arrested were deported and put on a black list barring them from entering Cambodia in the future, according to a local media report.

In August 2015, authorities arrested 22 Chinese nationals in southeastern Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province for operating a telephone-based scam.

Reported by Hour Hum for RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Pagnawath Khun. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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