Businesswoman Arrested for Tying Up Employee

A businesswoman in Ratanakkiri province was arrested on Wednesday after she tied up a staffer she accused of stealing money and kept her locked in a room for two days, police said Thursday.

The suspect, Sok Kunthea, 33, was arrested after the family of the victim, Mann Chenda, 23, filed a complaint with police alleging that she was being illegally confined by her boss, according to deputy provincial police chief Keo Dany.

Ms. Chenda worked at a photocopying shop with a Wing mobile payment outlet, which Ms. Kunthea ran out of her house in Banlung City’s Laban Siek commune.

When police arrived at the house Wednesday, they found Ms. Chenda locked in a room, where she had been kept since Monday.

She told police that Ms. Kunthea had tied up her legs and taped her mouth shut until she confessed to having stolen $50,000 that went missing from the Wing operation. Ms. Chenda said she finally told Ms. Kunthea she had stolen $5,000 in order to get untied.

“The family knew the victim was detained after they received a phone call from the victim on the night of June 16,” Ms. Dany said. “The boss let the victim call her family because the boss wanted her family to pay back the money she stole.”

Commune police chief But Heng said Ms. Chenda had looked “pale and frightened” upon her rescue.

“I saw Chenda was locked in a bedroom. She was not allowed to go out,” he said.

According to Ms. Dany, Ms. Kunthea does not admit she was illegally confining her employee, and insists she was only keeping her “in a temporary waiting area” until her family repaid the $50,000.

Ms. Chenda, for her part, denies having stolen any funds.

Wing CEO Anthony Perkins said he was aware of the case but that Ms. Kunthea’s shop had not been a Wing outlet since April.

“We’re sad to hear about it, but it is no longer a Wing outlet,” he said. “Whatever money was stolen, we don’t have any visibility on the money. The day they were closed down, they emptied their accounts with us.”

However, both Ms. Dany and Mr. Heng claimed the payment service was still operating from Ms. Kunthea’s house. “I saw that Wing is still open at her house and is used to transfer money,” Mr. Heng said.

(Additional reporting by Joshua Wilwohl)

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