Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kidnapped NGO man lost and naked

Kidnapped NGO man lost and naked

Kidnapped NGO man lost and naked

An NGO worker who was taken hostage in north-east Cambodia in late August spent two

days wandering nearly naked in thick forest before being rescued by police.

Armed kidnappers demanded $5,000 ransom for two employees of a local NGO, the Cambodia

Family Development Service (CFDS) which operates in Mondolkiri. They threatened to

kill Touch Sina unless his colleague Lon Bondaul returned in four hours with the

cash and left it on a motorbike in the forest.

John Phay, CFDS country director, said that by the time Bondaul returned with 1.7

million riel (around $425), Touch Sina, who was left wearing only his underpants,

had already disappeared into the forest.

"[Bondaul] left the money on top of the motorcycle and when he had gone 100

meters he turned around and it was gone," Phay said. "We haven't got the

money back."

Phay said the incident was a one-off robbery, a case of mistaken identity that was

not directed at his organization. "They were in the wrong place at the wrong

time and there was some guy who probably wanted to rob someone else like a businessman,"

he said.

However international NGO Oxfam, which funds the local NGO, said the kidnapping was

a deliberate attack.

"I think it may be the case that the NGO was targeted because people sometimes

mistakenly feel that NGOs are cash rich when in fact that is rarely the case,"

said Mike Ounsted, an Oxfam director.

He added that Oxfam particularly wanted to help disadvantaged people in remote areas,

and warned kidnappers to think about the consequences of their actions.

"I would also hope that would-be hijackers think very carefully about donors

and the work our partners are doing," he said. "This could have a negative

effect on the ability of partners to deliver aid relief."

Ounsted said that although the kidnapping was unusual, he thought it might have happened

to other Oxfam partners before.

"I think it is important for both donors and NGOs to look at how they are perceived,"

he said. "We are concerned about the safety of our partners especially coming

up to the general elections next year. We hope they will look at their security arrangements

and we will also look at ours."

One of the suspects was captured by Mondolkiri police on August 22, and two others

were arrested in Kampong Cham province on September 3.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer