A 43-year-old Phnom Penh businessman was kidnapped early Tuesday evening on Monireth Boulevard, ending a six-month lull in abductions in the city, police officials said Wednesday.
Tang Sengpar, owner of an import-export company, was kidnapped at 7:30 pm near Hotel Inter-Continental by four gunmen. He was released early Wednesday morning in Russei Keo district after relatives paid an undisclosed ransom, Municipal Police Chief Soun Chhengly said Wednesday.
The businessman was recovering in Calmette Hospital from gunshot wounds in the arm and leg suffered while he resisted the abduction, the police chief said. The abduction occurred on Monireth Boulevard, just 200 meters from Chamkar Mon district military police headquarters.
Monireth Boulevard was the scene of another daring crime Tuesday morning when a police official and his wife were gunned down by hitmen.
The kidnapping is a setback for police, who were heavily criticized last year for a spate of kidnappings that in part prompted government officials to crack down on guns throughout the country.
Neither the hitmen nor kidnappers have yet been found, said Soun Chhengly. He added that a tip on the location of the kidnap victim early Wednesday morning came minutes too late to apprehend the abductors, who fled on motorcycles.
“We are very sorry that we arrived there late. They had left just 20 minutes before us,” said Soun Chhengly. He added that the victim’s family refused to cooperate with police after the abduction.
Municipal Military Police Chief Chhin Chanpor said Wednesday that after the tip of the kidnap victim’s whereabouts, hundreds of military, municipal and Interior Ministry police were deployed. At about 4 am, they surrounded a house in Tuk Thla commune, Russei Keo district, where Tang Sengpar was found.
The four kidnappers are believed by police to have fled to the provinces, said Chhin Chanpor.