Three people were arrested in Stung Treng province on Wednesday after they kidnapped an 8-year-old boy in an attempt to extort more than $5,000 from his parents, a military police official said Thursday.
Chay Leng, 40, was arrested along with Sar Sovann, 30, and his girlfriend, Im Chakrya, 22, in a sting operation set up by authorities at a local pagoda around 4 p.m., Stung Treng provincial military police Colonel Ing Vandy said.
“We spent four hours trying to find the suspects after the victim’s parents complained to military police officers in Stung Treng City,” Col. Vandy said.
The kidnappers had snatched the boy from Stung Treng City primary school at around 11:30 a.m. and had initially requested $50,000 from the boy’s parents.
The parents, following the advice of military police, talked the kidnappers down to a ransom of $5,500 and then arranged for a money drop at the nearby Srah Russei commune pagoda, Col. Vandy explained.
The military police commander said his officers, dressed in civilian clothes and waiting at the pagoda, arrested the two male kidnappers during the money exchange.
Military police later recovered the kidnapped boy—who was being held in a nearby jungle by Ms. Chakyra—and returned him to his parents unharmed, he said.
The kidnappers were taken into custody and will be charged at the Stung Treng Provincial Court today.