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'Kidnap' sisters break down

Siblings Kim Sarun (left), 18, and Kim Sophary, 28, cry as they exit Phnom Penh Municipal Court where they faced kidnapping charges yesterday.

Two sisters cried in court yesterday as they denied kidnapping an 18-year-old high school student in Phnom Penh over a US$100 loan.

Former garment workers Kim Sophary, 28, and Kim Sarun, 18, appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal court yesterday on charges of illegal detainment and kidnapping.

Presiding judge Kor Vandy said they were arrested on January 23 in the capital’s Dangkor district following a complaint from Keo Heng – the father Bak Touk High School student Keo Kanlida, who has disappeared.

The judge said Keo Heng has claimed the sisters, who worked at Universal Garment Factory, kidnapped his daughter after she failed to pay back a $100 loan and then phoned him in a bid to claim the cash.

At court yesterday, both sisters – watched by their weeping mother – denied the charges against them, and claimed that they did not know Keo Kanlida.

Kim Sarun said: “I have not committed this crime. I never called to her father to ask money as the complaint states.

“I think that this charge is very unjust. I have not committed any wrong thing.”

She insisted that she had given a $100 loan to another garment worker called Kan Da last December and claimed a name mix-up had resulted in her arrest.  

She said that on January 21, a man had called her to ask about the whereabouts of his daughter. “I think that there was some confusion over the name. When I got his call, I thought that he was the father of Kan Da, so I answered that I knew her but she had just left my room,” she said

“I told him that she had borrowed $100 from me and that, if he was her father, to please pay me the money she borrowed.”

She added that after several calls and continued contact with the man she met him at Canadia park in Kakab commune, Dangkor district, where she was arrested by police.

Kim Sophary added: “We are innocent people. Therefore, I would like to ask the court to drop charges against us and release us so that we will able to continue our work to support our family.”

Kor Vandy said that a verdict was due May 10.



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