Police Arrest Phnom Penh Couple After They Kidnap Neighbor

Police in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district arrested a couple on Tuesday for briefly kidnapping their neighbor, who owns a competing guesthouse next door, an official said Wednesday.

District police chief Yim Saran said Pha Kosal, 30, and his wife Him Lyda, 32, were arrested on Tuesday evening in Choam Chao commune after police received a tip informing them that the couple had forcibly detained their neighbor, Keo Nara, 45, in their guesthouse.

The couple owns the Trapaing Thloeng Guesthouse in Trapaing Thloeng village, while Ms. Nara owns the $3 Guesthouse directly next door, Mr. Saran said.

“We tried to compromise with the couple to release the detained woman,” Mr. Saran said. “But they disagreed, so we asked a Phnom Penh court deputy prosecutor for a warrant to arrest the couple.”

The district police chief added that police arrested Mr. Kosal and Ms. Lyda and released Ms. Nara at about 6 p.m., an hour after she had been detained.

“The couple is now at the district police station and we are building a case to send them to the court,” he said.

According to Mr. Saran, Tuesday’s incident arose after Mr. Kosal poured a bucket of dirty water in front of Ms. Nara’s guesthouse.

Contacted Wednesday, Ms. Nara said the couple grabbed her after she approached them to complain about the water.

“The couple and three other relatives came to grab me and pushed me into their house and locked the door,” she said. “I tried to fight them off, but I couldn’t because they had many people.”

Ms. Nara said she had opened her guesthouse about a month ago and that several days prior to Tuesday’s incident, the couple threw a plastic bag of human feces through the front door of her guesthouse.

“I think that the couple was angry because I made the same business as them,” she said.

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