In a scene that resembled raids earlier this year, police burst into a Kampong Speu guesthouse yesterday where they found 15 Taiwanese nationals and a total of 48 telephone landlines.
Provincial authorities, who have thus far only filed charges of illegal immigration and lack of proper documentation, said the suspects broke their SIM cards in an attempt to destroy phone records as police entered Chbar Morn town’s Absara Guesthouse at about 6:30am.
Nhorn Thol, deputy commander of the Kampong Speu provincial military police, said that 11 Taiwanese men and four Taiwanese women, aged 25 to 44, were arrested for entering the country without passports. The warrant was initially issued on suspicion of drug trafficking.
“When we started to raid the guesthouse to arrest the suspects, we thought they were a group of drug users or traffickers,” Thol said. “But after raiding the guesthouse, we found they were Taiwanese immigrants staying without legal documents.”
The suspects had been living in there for one month but rarely left the premises, often sending a single member of their group to gather necessities. The guesthouse owner reported their suspicious activity to police.
Since the start of this year, the Post has reported on three separate Taiwanese groups that have been arrested on charges of extortion using VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol, a type of internet phone service, to threaten and extort money from people in China and Taiwan.
Police refused to speculate on the existence of the phone lines yesterday, as the suspects were still being questioned.
“Our military police experts are still working and interviewing them regarding their purposes and entrance into Cambodia. And so far, their interviewing is not completed yet,” Thol said.
The suspects allegedly entered Cambodia by boat.
Keo Sothea, general prosecutor of Kampong Speu Provincial Court, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]