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Gambler’s kidnappers sentenced

Two Cambodians and a foreign national were each sentenced to three years in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for the illegal detention of a Chinese gambler that owed one of the men money.

Presiding judge Svay Tonh said defendants Kim Saveth, also known as Thy, 38, and Rath La, 41 – both Cambodians – along with Vietnamese national Nguyen Ang Hiv, 34, had been charged with the arrest and illegal detention of a person.

The victims were arrested in early November of last year.

According to Tonh, Chinese victim Li Zhou, 35, had borrowed $3,000 from Nguyen in an attempt to recoup his gambling losses, but lost yet again, failing to come up with the money to repay the debt.

Nguyen, Saveth and La then kidnapped Zhou and held him in their rental house in an effort to extort payment for debt from his family.

The three were arrested when Li’s wife notified police that her husband was being held captive.

The defendants and their lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday.



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