Two Vietnamese men and a Cambodian woman have been arrested in Cambodia's Kampong Thom District for kidnapping 10 Vietnamese (nine men and a woman) to demand ransoms from their families in Vietnam. Photo provided by Cambodian police
Cambodian police rescued 10 Vietnamese nationals from the house where they had been tortured and starved for over a month while their captors extracted ransom money from their families in Vietnam.
The rescue operation began after police received a tip from an 11th captive who escaped the house in Kampong Thom Province’s Prasat Balaing District, fled to Banteay Meanchey Province and alerted authorities there.
Kampong Thom provincial police chief Chou Sam An said Monday the police spent over a month looking for the captives -- who were nine men and one woman.
He said the victims were lured to Cambodia after being promised jobs they believed would pay US$500 a month, but they ended up being handcuffed and locked in the basement of the house that became their prison for the next few weeks.
The kidnappers starved and beat them, one by one, then called their victims’ families in Vietnam to demand ransoms that ranged from $300 to $4,000, he said.
Also on Saturday, police arrested the alleged ringleaders of the kidnapping gang, which included Hou Tap, 42, a Vietnamese national and his Cambodian wife Thoeun Srey Toch, 33, and Nguyen Van Tho, 26, also Vietnamese.
The arrestees said the kidnapping was masterminded by Nguyen Van Sinh, 38, from Duc Hoa District of Vietnam's Mekong Delta province of Long An. Sinh left Cambodia for Vietnam.
The trio will be tried for illegal detention and torture in the provincial court .
In April, three Vietnamese nationals were arrested in Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Province for kidnapping two 34-year-old Vietnamese men and demanding a $7,000 ransom from each of their families.