Gov’t Official’s Son Murdered

Four members of a kidnap gang were arrested in Phnom Penh Thursday evening following the abduction and murder of a government official’s 15-year-old son earlier that day.

Sek Lilin, the son of customs official Sek Leng, was abducted Thursday morning shortly after leaving school in the Daun Penh district of Phnom Penh, Sim Hong, deputy Municipal Military Police commander, said Friday.

The abductors killed the boy after one hour and dumped his body in Phnom Sroch district, Kompong Speu province.

According to Sim Hong, the kidnappers killed the boy before returning to Phnom Penh and calling his parents by telephone o demand a $300,000 ransom.

However, Military Police were notified and students Khim Sok­unthea, 20, Tong Chantip, 20, Sok Measa, 22, and Both Samnang, 22, were arrested at 5 pm after ransom calls to the family were traced to a public call box in front of the National Museum near the Royal Palace, Sim Hong said.

“We arrested them after they called from the public telephone to extort money from the victim’s family,” Sim Hong said.

Initially two gang members escaped from military police but were caught when the mot­or­­cycle they were riding crashed during a high speed chase.

Two more members of the gang are still at large, he said.

Thursday’s kidnapping was the second abduction in Phnom Penh in two weeks.

Chheang Sophanarith, 25, the son of a Ministry of Finance official, was held captive for five days and released last Saturday after relatives allegedly paid kidnappers a $150,000 ransom.

Police in Takeo province are also hunting for kidnappers who took the 7-year-old son of a provincial tax official a week ago and are demanding $10,000 ransom for his release, La Lay, Takeo provincial military police commander, said Thursday. The family have not cooperated with military police fearing the kidnappers will harm the abducted boy, he said.

The recent spate of abductions follows the shooting death of infamous kidnapper Sam Nara, better known as “Rasmach.”


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