Military police have arrested a man in Phnom Penh after he kidnapped his 10-year-old cousin and demanded millions of riel in ransom from the boy’s parents.
A trap for 22-year-old Sous Yano was sprung in Dangkor district on Wednesday as he attempted to collect the funds from a Wing money transfer branch, according to Sam Tola, Kandal provincial military police chief.
“We tracked down the suspect after he took the boy to visit Tamao Mountain in Takeo province. We tracked [him via] the number he used to call the parents to demand money,” Tola said.
Police say Yano held 10-year-old Tang Soharatey for two days, roughly 40 kilometres from his Kampong Luong commune home in Ponhea Leu district.
Yano had lied to his cousin, telling him his parents were away for a few days, Tola said.
The cousins did not know each other, but Yano knew the name of the boy’s uncle and used that knowledge to gain his trust.
“The victim trusted him and went with him. The victim did not know he was kidnapped,” Tola said.
Tola said the suspect had made two separate demands for cash, with the parents forking out 2 million riel ($500) in the first batch.
On the second occasion, authorities worked with the victim’s parents – who provided a fresh code for Wing, but no money – to apprehend the suspect.
“The second time, the suspect demanded 3 million riel and the authorities set a trap to catch him,” Tola said.
Soharatey’s parents made an impassioned Facebook plea calling for their son’s return and appealed to a relative, who is a member of the Kampong Cham provincial military, to assist with the search.
The suspect will be sent to court today and face charges of illegally detaining his cousin and demanding ransom money.