Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials probe kidnappings



Officials probe kidnappings

Relatives of the child who was kidnapped and returned outside a Phnom Penh school on Friday speak to authorities. Facebook
Relatives of the child who was kidnapped and returned outside a Phnom Penh school on Friday speak to authorities. Facebook

Officials probe kidnappings

As authorities investigate a mysterious kidnapping of a girl from her Phnom Penh school last week, a Kampong Cham community is reeling after the second attempted school abduction in Koh Sotin district in the past fortnight.

The bizarre abduction and return of an 8-year-old girl on Friday has anti-trafficking police combing CCTV footage to try to identify the man driving the girl away on a moto.

The girl was “shaken” after the incident, in which she was told her mother had been involved in a motorbike accident, said James McCabe of the Child Protection Unit, which is assisting the investigation.

“The victim said her hands were tied and she was gagged, but it doesn’t seem she was assaulted in any way,” he said.

She was released several hours later and given a small amount of money to take a tuk-tuk back to school. “It’s just very, very strange. If it was a case of mistaken identity, why was she gagged?” McCabe said.

The Child Protection Unit posted the following video to Facebook, apparently showing the abduction:

Meanwhile, yesterday a group of five men attempted to kidnap a 6-year-old girl from school in Psar Thmey village in Kampong Cham’s Koh Sotin district, according to the girl’s mother Hong Chhengly. As in the Phnom Penh case, the men, who wore surgical masks and sunglasses, tried to convince the girl her mother had been harmed.

The girl objected and tried to run away, attracting the attention of other students. They yelled at the would-be kidnappers who fled the scene.

The Chiher Primary School campus, where abductions took place yesterday in Kampong Cham province. Photo supplied
The Chiher Primary School campus, where abductions took place yesterday in Kampong Cham province. Photo supplied

That case followed a kidnapping attempt last week in Mohaleap commune, where a truck carrying five people wearing balaclavas attempted to snatch a 7-year-old girl off the road as she bicycled alongside her older sister, according to Chong Prek Deputy Village Chief Sim Khim.

“It’s a timely warning for all parents to advise your kids that you don’t go with someone you don’t know,” McCabe said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Woman seeks answers after arrest of American partner

    Filipina Lalaine de Guzman, 48, is demanding answers for the detention of her American partner by Cambodian immigration officers after he was arrested at their home almost 90 days ago. She said without an arrest warrant or proffering any criminal charges, Stephen Sidney Greatsinger, 56, is being detained

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital