Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police questioning VoIP ‘extortionists’ in Siem Reap



Police questioning VoIP ‘extortionists’ in Siem Reap

Chinese nationals wait in a queue after they were arrested on Wednesday in Poipet in a raid on a VoIP extortion ring
Chinese nationals wait in a queue after they were arrested on Wednesday in Poipet in a raid on a VoIP extortion ring. Photo supplied

Police questioning VoIP ‘extortionists’ in Siem Reap

About 70 out of a group of more than 200 alleged Chinese scammers were questioned by police in Siem Reap yesterday over an alleged Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) extortion scheme, with 25 later being released, according to an official.

Uk Hai Sela, head of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s Immigration Department, said that questioning had shown that the 25 who were released were “just casino staff and rented a room in the same block”, but the remainder of the group was detained. He said that the rest of the suspects would continue to be questioned today. “But we are not sure if we can complete that, because there are too many,” he said.

He added that some of the suspects had arrived in Cambodia just over a month ago, while others had been in the country for as long as six months. The new arrivals had “just come to learn the technique, how to extort”, he said. Hai Sela said the police had not yet seen the passports of all those who were arrested, and were now trying to obtain those too.

“They all said they had passports, but . . . they said their team leader kept the passports and we are telling him to bring [them],” he said.

All of the suspects would be deported to China, he said, though a date has not been set. “When we get the exact number of how many are suspects . . . [we will let China] decide whether to bring them back in one chartered plane, or buy tickets” through an airline, he said.

Representatives of the Chinese Embassy could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and