Kidnapper Arrested, 9-Year-Old Girl Rescued in Phnom Penh

Police in Phnom Penh arrested a woman Saturday afternoon after rescuing the 9-year-old girl she had allegedly kidnapped from Kompong Cham province earlier that day, police said.

Khun Sreineang, 23, took the grade-three student from a primary school in Kompong Cham City to Phnom Penh on Saturday morning, said Choem Senghong, deputy Kompong Cham provincial police chief.

“We spent six hours to rescue the schoolgirl and arrest the female kidnapper,” Mr Senghong said. “She lured [the girl] to Phnom Penh by taxi and called to extort money from the victim’s mother.”

One hour after the kidnapping occurred at 9:30 am, Ms Sreineang telephoned the girl’s mother to demand $20,000 for the safe return of her daughter, he said. The mother negotiated the ransom down to $12,000 and agreed to wire the amount from a Cambodia Asia Bank branch in Kompong Cham to a branch in Phnom Penh, he said.

However, police cooperated with the girl’s family, the Interior Ministry’s internal security department and the bank to carry out a rescue operation, he said.

Ms Sreineang was arrested when she arrived at the Cambodia Asia Bank branch in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district accompanied by the girl at 4 pm, he added.

“The kidnapper was inexperienced and knew the victim’s mother,” he said, noting that they used to work together for an informal loans business, and the daughter was also familiar with her.

Ms Sreineang was returned to Kompong Cham provincial police station on Saturday night and would be sent to Kompong Cham Provincial Court today, he said.

Chea Sok, deputy Prampi Makara district police chief, said his police cooperated with police in Kompong Cham and the Cambodia Asia Bank to make the arrest.

Police waited at the bank until the suspect with the girl arrived to collect the ransom, Mr Sok said. “We spent many hours [waiting] to arrest the suspect and rescue the victim,” he said, noting that the girl was not physically harmed during the incident.

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