Security Guards Hold Garment Workers for Ransom

Six security guards and three garment factory workers are being questioned by police in Phnom Penh after the workers said they were held for ransom over alleged workplace drug use, police said on Thursday.

The guards claim they detained the workers on Wednesday after they saw the men using unspecified drugs at the Mars Brothers Garment Manufacturing factory, according to Pur Senchey district police chief Yim Sarann.

Rather than calling police, however, the guards held the men captive until each of their families paid $500 to secure their release.

The families alerted local police, but officers were denied entry until they received permission from Phnom Penh police chief Chuon Sovann and Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutors, he said.

“We arrested six security guards and three garment workers for questioning,” Mr. Sarann said, adding that police were still investigating whether the workers had in fact used drugs at the factory.

“We are questioning them at Pur Senchey district police headquarters,” he said, but could not remember their names and said he was too busy to answer further questions.

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