Six held over extortion, police impersonation in Preah Sihanouk

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Five Cambodians and a Chinese national were arrested after another Chinese national filed a complaint about being extorted of $2,300. POLICE

Five Cambodians and a Chinese national – all men – were arrested on Tuesday after another Chinese national filed a complaint about being extorted of $2,300.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial police chief Chuon Narin told The Post that the six suspects were arrested after they impersonated police officers and extorted money from the victim. The six were sent to court on Thursday.

The suspects were able to extort $2,300 from the victim, and they planned on collecting $1,700 more, he said.

“Because the victim could not afford to give money to them, he asked for legal assistance. As the police, we must protect victims and citizens,” Narin said.

A Preah Sihanouk provincial administration report said four of the suspects work for news organisations.

They are Hak Sothea Panha, 30, an employee of Cambodia News Plus; Uon Bros, 27, an employee of CAM POST; Sem Sokda, 30, an assistant to Bros, and Chen Bunthoen, 27, an employee of NEWS Online. Three of them live in Mittapheap district’s Commune IV, in Sihanoukville, Preah Sihanouk.

The two other suspects are Chamroeun Leangmeng, 27, a construction contractor from Commune IV and Zhou Dongya, 30, a taxi driver from Commune III.

The victim, 29-year-old Zhang Kang, is a tour guide from Commune IV.

The report said that on Sunday, the six suspects, who were dressed in civilian clothes, were driving a car and two motorbikes when they pulled Kang over. Kang was travelling to Borey Kuch Asia in Commune III at the time.

The suspects then planted drugs in Kang’s car and alleged that they belonged to him. They demanded $4,000 and warned Kang that they would arrest him if he didn’t pay.

Frightened, he made a phone call to his wife and friends and was able to collect $2,300 to pay the suspects. He promised to pay the additional amount in the future.

After receiving a complaint from Kang, authorities investigated and identified the suspects.