The Ministry of Interior has signed off on the deportation of 80 Taiwanese and Chinese nationals and one Vietnamese national arrested in Phnom Penh last Saturday on suspicion of phone-based extortion, police said yesterday.
The alleged blackmailers, who are mostly Taiwanese and who number three more than the 78 initially reported, will be deported to their countries later this week, said Chhay Sinarith, director of the Ministry of Interior’s internal security police department.
“Em Sam An, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, signed the letter to deport them today,” Sinarith said yesterday.
“Although they are being deported from Cambodia, it does not mean that they are free from accusations,” he said.
“They will face charges and trials in their own countries according to their laws.”
All members of the group, accused of making online calls to extort money from residents of China and Taiwan, are being held at the Ministry of Interior’s immigration
police department, he said, adding that the group was linked with previous groups arrested for extortion.
“According to police reports and their questioning, only [a couple of] them had passports,” he said.
“The others had no passports and entered Cambodia illegally.”
Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak, National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith and deputy national police commissioner Sok Phal could not be reached for comment yesterday.
According to a Ministry of Interior report, more than 500 Chinese and Taiwanese crime ring members have been arrested in Cambodia and deported since the start of 2010.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]