A 19-year-old student who was killed by his kidnappers was buried Wednesday, police and family members said.
Sok Hai, the son of the head of a local distributor for Marlboro cigarettes, was abducted on his way home from Sonthor Mok High School on Sept 28, said Khuon Sophon, Phnom Penh penal police chief. Kidnappers reportedly called his family twice demanding a $150,000 ransom.
A close friend of the victim’s family said they paid at least a portion of the money to kidnappers Monday night. Police found the teen’s body Tuesday in a sewage canal in Chamkar Mon district. The body had bruises indicating the victim had been strangled with a cable, handcuffed and had his legs tied together, Khuon Sophon said.
Police suspect the kidnappers knew the victim and that is why he was killed, Khuon Sophon said. The police plan to begin taking statements from the victim’s father, Sok Heng, the head of EAC Distributors, and his family now that the victim has been buried.
“I hope we will have close cooperation with the family of the victim,” Khuon Sophon said. “In my experience with these types of cases, the victim is never returned alive even if the family pays the ransom.”
Local police said more than 10 kidnapping victims have been killed so far this year. A spate of abductions occurred among the city’s ethnic Chinese business community.
“It’s like you are the victim of your own success,” the a friend of the dead youth’s family said.
The municipality’s police department for foreigners formed a special committee before the July 26 elections to find ways to stop the kidnapping.