Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cops bust up phone scam

Cops bust up phone scam

Cops bust up phone scam

Nearly 30 Chinese and Cambodian citizens are facing charges over an alleged telephone scam following a multi-department police raid in Phnom Penh last week.

The National Military Police, along with local police and a prosecutor, raided a villa in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district on Friday, arresting 19 men and five women from China as well as two women and a man from Cambodia, said Kheng Kito, a National Military Police spokesman.

“We are questioning them one by one, in accordance with our law,” Kito said. He added that he hoped to charge the suspects in court by some point today.

Law enforcement officials suspect the 27 people arrested are connected with a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) scam, using the internet to make phone calls from Cambodia to China from ostensibly Chinese phone numbers. Scammers then typically use various techniques to trick their victims into sending money to Cambodia.

Since the beginning of the year, a total of 90 Chinese nationals have been arrested in connection with similar alleged scams in Kampong Speu, Kampong Cham and Phnom Penh, Kito said.

“They commit crimes that lead to the loss of a lot of money and use our country as a place to defraud people abroad,” Kito said. Scammers also cause disturbances to Cambodian telecom lines, he added.

Law enforcement officials are currently seeking advice from the Cambodian government as to how to best prosecute the case. Rather than simply deporting the Chinese nationals, they should be punished before being expelled from Cambodia, Kito said.

The suspects could be charged with thievery, distorting for money and fraud, he added. But laws need to be added in order to better prosecute this specific crime, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked