Gambler's body found on Cambodian river

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The body of a Vietnamese gambler who reportedly died jumping out of a window at a Cambodian casino on January 9 was found later on a nearby river, Cambodian police said.

On August 21, police in Cambodia's Svay Rieng Province invited Bui Thi Huong from the Vietnamese province of Long An to identify her husband, Do Thanh Cong.

The police said a Cambodian resident found a dead body floating on a river near Casino Sato on August 11, and reported to the local authorities.

The body was then brought to a nearby pagoda for burial, and the monks took a picture of the dead man before laying him in the coffin.

Huong recognized the man in the photo was her husband. Cong's body has been repatriated.

Huong had earlier been informed about Cong's death by a Vietnamese man who said he and Cong were detained by thugs at the casino for failing to pay their debts.

The man, known only as H., said Cong, who was often beaten up by the casino thugs, desperately jumped out of a window to escape but fell to his death.

Svay Rieng police said, without elaborating, that the gangsters who brutally beat up Cong at the casino have been arrested.

Charges will soon be pressed against the gangsters after the police summoned witnesses for questioning, according to Cambodian police.

Vietnamese authorities were aware of the case early this month after H. told border guards he had witnessed Cong's death in Casino Sato in Svay Rieng Province near the Cambodia-Vietnam border.

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H., who introduced himself as a gambler who had just escaped from Casino Sato, said he lost gambling in Casino Las Vegas.

He was detained in a room on the fifth floor of Casino Sato next door, with six other Vietnamese four men and two women.

The detainees were waiting for their families to pay ransoms for their release, H. said.

The gamblers were frequently beaten up, with Cong, a 34-year-old Long An resident, suffering the most because he had been detained for the longest and his family had yet to pay the ransom, according to H.

On the afternoon of August 9, after being severely beaten, Cong and another man named Tung (from Vinh Long Province) resisted and broke a glass window with a chair to jump out of the room.

Cong fell off the ground and died on the spot, while Tung escaped death but seriously injured, according to H.

Three days later, while being "escorted" to have lunch, H. ran away.

He managed to get back to Vietnam and visited Cong's house to inform his family of his death.

Cong's wife, Huong, said Cong was a xe om driver and occasionally went to Cambodia casinos for gambling.

On July 20, he came to a casino and called home three days later, asking Huong to bring $2,000 to the casino in exchange for his freedom.

Huong could not afford the ransom. On August 9, a strange man called her and said her husband would end up dead if she didn't pay the ransom.

Huong collected enough money but when she called back she could not reach her husband and the man.

Huong and Cong had five children, with the oldest being 12 years old.

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