Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a 24-year-old man with extortion for allegedly threatening to send a bomb to the home of Heng Bun, a director at Nippon Paint Company, unless Mr Bun sent him $10,000, a court official said.
“The court charged Oeu Pov, 24, alias Sorn Sopheak, with extortion in accordance to articles 363 and 364 of the penal code,” deputy prosecutor Hing Bunchea said.
According to Chheang Mony, the director of the Interior Ministry’s penal bureau, the suspect on June 27 placed a threatening telephone call demanding $10,000 from Mr Bun and ordering him to transfer the money by Wing, a personal-banking system offered by ANZ Banking Group that allows person-to-person money transfers by mobile telephone. The victim alerted the police, who set up a sting operation.
On June 30, the victim sent 4 million riel, or about $1,000, to the suspect by Wing, whose employees were asked to “observe the suspect,” Mr Mony said. When on July 1 Mr Pov was not able to collect the money at the Wing shop in Dangkao district’s Choam Chao commune, he called Mr Bun and said that “if the victim did not give him the money, he would give a gift in the form of a bomb at the victim’s home.”
The victim told Mr Pov to return to the Wing agent and speak with the agent. When Mr Pov returned to the Wing shop, police were there ready to arrest him, according to Mr Mony.
Mr Mony said the suspect, who used to be Mr Bun’s driver, confessed to carrying out the scheme. The suspect said he had no money and his family was hungry, and decided to extort money from Mr Bun because Mr Bun constantly cursed at and criticized him while he was under his employ.
According to the penal code, if found guilty, Mr Pov faces two to five years in jail and a fine of up to 10 million riel.
Representatives of Wing Cambodia Ltd declined to comment.