Three Cambodian men (kneeling) suspected of kidnapping two Thai nationals are detained by police in Poipet town, Banteay Meanchey province, Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2013. Photograph supplied
Military police in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town yesterday arrested three men accused of posing as police officers in order to kidnap a pair of Thai nationals and hold them for ransom in a Poipet guesthouse, officials said.
Ham Muth, Poipet military police chief, said the two Thai nationals had come to the border town to gamble in a casino, which led the three unnamed suspects to believe they were wealthy and prompted the suspects to take the two men hostage.
Muth did not go into detail as to why the men were at the guesthouse, or how they intended to secure a ransom for the hostages, but said that police were questioning all three into the evening.
“Among the three, one confessed to the kidnapping,” said Muth. “He said all of them impersonated police [officers] and questioned the Thais as to whether they had identification cards for crossing into Cambodia. They took [the Thais] hostage, because they thought the two had a lot of money.”
Khiev Bory, a resident in Poipet town, said the kidnapping did not come as much of a surprise, as cases of Thai gamblers being taken advantage of by their Cambodian guides and translators are common.
“This is not a first case [of something like this] happening to Thais. It’s normal for Poipet residents to know about this,” he said. “When Thais come to play at a casino, Cambodian men bring them and serve as their translators, so some bad people cheat the Thais. I don’t know if police know this or not, because they rarely arrest suspects.”
Bory said that it was much more common for Cambodians to cheat Thais in small-scale scams, conning them into buying fake gold or fake smartphones at prices too good to be true.