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Schoolboy kidnapper to be tried at Phnom Penh Municipal Court

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Sreng Borei was being held in custody of the Russey Keo district police. Pha Lina

Schoolboy kidnapper to be tried at Phnom Penh Municipal Court

The suspect in last November’s kidnapping case that involved a 13-year-old boy and a $500 ransom will be tried at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday after joint forces arrested the accused on Saturday.

Sreng Borei, 23, was held in the custody of Russey Keo district police on Sunday, after being arrested in Kampong Chhnang town.

The arrest ended a two-month manhunt by officers from the National Police felony office, the Interior Ministry’s security department and Kampong Chhnang police.

The suspect confessed to having kidnapped the boy and demanded a ransom from his parents because “he really needed money”.

“I did not attempt to make him unconscious with a drug. I merely talked to and persuaded him – I did not hurt him. First I took him to have a meal. Then we went fishing. At night, we slept at a guesthouse near the Ly Yong Phat bridge,” Borei said.

Borei snatched the eighth-grader on November 20 last year while he was waiting for a bus at the Russey Keo High School.

Chao Virak Yuth, the school’s headmaster, told The Post on Monday that the victim had returned to school after he went missing for a day.

“We were not involved in the search for the boy as the incident happened outside the school, but he has been back ever since,” Virak Yuth said.

A police report detailed that the suspect had called the victim’s parents and initially demanded a $2,000 ransom. In the end, the mother forked out $500 for her son’s release a day later.

Russey Keo district deputy police chief Iv Chhunpheng said Borei is “facing charges of money extortion and unlawful confinement”.

The accused, Chhunpheng said, had escaped from prison in 2017. He had been behind bars for more than a year on a charge of stealing with aggravating circumstances.

The general department of prisons spokesperson at the Ministry of Interior, San Keo, confirmed that Borei had successfully broken out of jail.

“I don’t remember much about this case, so if you need more information, I need to check,” he told The Post.

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