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Ransom probe: Child, father ‘kidnapped’ by casino

Police are investigating the alleged kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl from Vietnam and her father by a casino in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town as ransom for gambling debts.

Vietnamese media reported on Saturday that Nguyen Thi Thuy Kieu, from Ho Chin Minh City, was allegedly kidnapped and taken to the Bay Tang Casino on November 18 with her father, Nguyen Van Lam, after he failed to pay debts of about US$4,750.

The girl’s grandmother received a phone call from a person who did not identify himself, explaining why they had been kidnapped, a news website said, citing a report in Phap Luat newspaper.

Keo Kong, a police chief in Bavet district, said yesterday police had begun investigating the case. “We are investigating but have not yet got any information. Police were initially unaware and did not get a complaint from this case,” he said.

Van Kea, a room manager at Titan King casino, known in Vietnam as the Bay Tang casino, denied Nguyen Thi Thuy and her father had been kidnapped. “We have not detained a 13-year-old Vietnamese [girl],” he said.

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