Phan Thi Kim Oanh, 37, was arrested at the Moc Bai Border Gate on Wednesday for allegedly detaining Vietnamese debtors after they lose everything at Cambodian casinos.
According to police, Oanh provided loans to dozens of Vietnamese gamblers at Cambodian casinos. When the gamblers could not pay their debts, she and her accomplices detained them, police said.
They beat up and threatened the gamblers, while informing their families of the debts, and forcing them to pay ransoms by threatening to kill their loved ones.
Following Oanh's arrest at the Cambodian border in the southern province of Tay Ninh, police rescued several gamblers she and her gang had effectively kidnapped, according to investigators.
According to police, thousands of Vietnamese, mostly living in border provinces like Binh Duong, Tay Ninh and Long An -- as well as throngs from Ho Chi Minh City -- have flooded Cambodian casinos over the past several years.
May of them are now up to their neck in debt to loan sharks like Oanh, police said.
Many have sold their properties, been detained and even tortured, police reports said. Some lenders cut off the debtors fingers to send home in a bid to extort ransoms, according to police.