4 Charged in Bavet Casino Detentions, Beatings

Svay Rieng Provincial Court charged four casino employees for allegedly detaining, interrogating and beating two card dealers who were suspected of conspiring with gamblers to cheat the casino, officials said yesterday.

Provincial Prosecutor Keo Sothea said the men–Cambodians Phan Sambath, 28, and Chan Vuthy, 29; Indonesian Kho Nievann, 29; and Malaysian Tann Kinyoong, 34–were charged on Monday and remained behind bars awaiting trial.

“We charged them with illegal confinement and causing injury. Now they are in pre-trial detention in the Svay Rieng provincial prison,” he said.

According to a report obtained yesterday from the Interior Ministry’s internal security department, Mr Kinyoong was in charge of several card tables at the Sun City Casino in Bavet city when he suspected Cambodian card dealers Soeung Kimsoeun and Sim Piseth, both 30, were colluding with gamblers to siphon money for the business.

Mr Kinyoong and the three other suspects, who worked in the casino’s security department, detained the men against their will inside a small room in the casino on Friday. For the next three days, the four men proceeded to question the men and beat them with a belt, the report stated.

Provincial immigration police chief Thong Vannak said he had only heard of the case but was not involved in its investigation. He said the Interior Ministry at the direction of deputy national police chief Sok Phal was handling the case.

Mr Vannak said the reason for the ministry’s involvement was because a relative of one of the victims complained directly to the office and asked for assistance in finding their then-missing relative. He said he had no more details regarding the case, saying he was awaiting documents from the court scheduled to arrive on tomorrow.

“This case is over our heads and ordered directly by His Excellency General Sok Phal,” he said.

Both Mr Phal and Major General Chhay Sinarith, director of the Internal Security department, could not be reached for comment.


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