Military police in Phnom Penh on Wednesday arrested a seventh suspect in the kidnapping of three Chinese men freed on Monday from their captors, who had detained them for two months in a bid to make them pay back loans with the help of their relatives in China.
Seng Komon, head of the municipal military police force’s human trafficking bureau, said Chinese national Zhang Zhong Zheng, 42, was apprehended in an apartment in Tuol Kok district in the company of a prostitute.
He said Mr. Zhang was an ex-soldier working as a bodyguard for the leader of the kidnappers, who escaped on a flight back to China on Tuesday after the other six were arrested. He declined to provide the ringleader’s name.
Mr. Komon said the three captives, all Chinese businessmen based in Sihanoukville, had borrowed money with interest but were unable to pay it back, prompting the kidnappers to detain them in hopes of making their relatives in China pay off their debts.
On Tuesday, police said the three victims were kidnapped in Sihanoukville about two months ago and at some point were taken to Phnom Penh, where they managed to toss a note out of a window. The note was found by passers-by, who used the contact information on it to locate their Cambodian girlfriends, who in turn contacted authorities.
Military police said Tuesday that the six Chinese nationals, including one woman, were all arrested in the raid on the Meanchey district home that freed the men. Police said the captives were weak, having been fed only once a day, but had not been physically tortured.
On Wednesday, however, Mr. Komon said two of the six kidnappers were actually arrested on Sunday. He said all seven would be sent to court today.