Teen released after 12 days as hostage

Korn Pheaktra and his stepmother
Korn Pheaktra and his stepmother pose for photos at a provincial police station yesterday after being apprehended. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Teen released after 12 days as hostage

Police arrested a woman and her stepson for extortion on Tuesday after they allegedly kidnapped a teenager and demanded $650 ransom from her family.

Speaking yesterday, Kampong Cham penal police officer Major Sok Phearom, said that suspects Pol Chenda, 27, and Korn Pheaktra, 19, both from Kampong Cham province, were arrested at 11:45pm on Tuesday after holding Sak Menghour, 18, hostage for 12 days.

Phearom said the pair had lured Menghour, who is also from Kampong Cham, to a rental house in the province’s Prey Chhour district by inviting her on a trip to Phnom Penh on February 6.

“They later telephoned her parents demanding $400 for ransom,” Phearom said, “They ordered the victim’s parents to send the money via Wing [money transfer service] to them.”

Phearom said although the girl’s parents sent the cash, their daughter wasn’t freed.

“Two days later, they telephoned again to the victim’s parents and demanded 1 million riel [about $250] more, but the victim’s parents did not send it and instead filed a complaint to provincial police for intervention,” he said.

Coordinating with the parents, Phearom said police arranged a sting, allowing the pair to think they were collecting the ransom before swooping in on their hideout in Baray commune’s Trapaing Beng village, near the border of Kampong Thom province.

Following the raid, Menghour was reunited with her parents, he said.

Brigadier General Ben Rath, chief of the Kampong Cham provincial police, said that Chenda and Pheaktra were being detained at police headquarters for questioning and would be sent to the provincial court today.

“They were preliminarily accused by our police of kidnapping and extorting money,” he said.

“If they are found guilty, they shall face punishment of imprisonment for at least three years each,” he added.

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