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Kandal man arrested for alleged blackmail

Kan Sokunthearith is handcuffed at a Kandal province police station on Sunday after he was arrested for suspected blackmail. Photo supplied
Kan Sokunthearith is handcuffed at a Kandal province police station on Sunday after he was arrested for suspected blackmail. Photo supplied

Kandal man arrested for alleged blackmail

A 23-year-old man is due in court today accused of blackmailing his girlfriend by threatening to publish nude photos of her on Facebook.

Kan Sokunthearith, from Takhmao in Kandal province, was arrested when he went to pick up ransom money from his girlfriend in a sting operation set up by the police, said deputy police chief Roeun Nara.

In a Facebook post, provincial police chief Eav Chamroeun detailed how the suspect had asked his girlfriend to send him naked pictures. He then told her he would publish them unless she gave him $400. She paid, but he repeated the threats on September 7. “The victim told him she could not get the money. But the suspect said ‘You can sleep with anyone to get money from him’,” Chamroeun wrote.

The woman filed a complaint with the police who arrested the suspect in the sting. He reportedly admitted to extorting money twice from the woman.

“When checking the phone of the cold-blooded lover, there were similar pictures of no fewer than five other women, and he said there are even more,” Chamroeun wrote.

Nara said the precise charges would depend on the prosecutor. “I would like to appeal to all men to give value to women, even if you are separated; and women, you should preserve your dignity and don’t trust your man quickly,” he said.

But Gender and Development in Cambodia executive director Ros Sopheap warned against blaming the victim, saying she would likely face stigma for “destroying the culture”.

Additional reporting by Erin Handley

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