A Chinese national was arrested by the capital’s Por Sen Chey district police on Wednesday for allegedly planting a fake time bomb in a bubble tea shop to intimidate a compatriot.

Police said the man, arrested in the district’s Chaom Chao I commune, will be sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Police for further questioning.

Deputy National Police chief and head of Phnom Penh Municipal Police Sar Thet told The Post on Wednesday that the suspect was 36 years old.

“The ‘dynamite’ in the bomb was filled with sand so it couldn’t have exploded. It was not an explosive device that could have gone off and injured people. I will instruct our officers to question the suspect further to discover his full intentions,” Thet said.

Authorities were initially concerned the device was real, but further investigation revealed it be a dummy.

Chaom Chao I Commune Police Chief Ros Sarady told The Post on Wednesday that a Chinese national living in Cambodia had invited the suspect over from China to be a partner in KTV film production.

After the arriving in the Kingdom, the suspect frequently visited a Chinese bubble tea shop in Por Sen Chey district with his compatriot.

With the promise of work failing to materialise and having, he claimed, spent nearly $4,000, the suspect approached his compatriot, who gave him the run-around, Sarady said.

On Wednesday morning, the suspect made four tubes out of paper and filled them with sand to appear like sticks of dynamite. He then attached a clock and wires to make the set-up look like a time bomb. He put the fake device in a bag and placed it in the bubble tea shop.

The shop’s owner, also Chinese, found the bag and reported the discovery to Por Sen Chey district police, who called the Cambodia Mine Action Centre specialists to inspect it.