A casino in Sihanoukville detained 13 Cambodian gamblers overnight on Saturday after it accused the group of cheating when they won $150,000 collectively, though the men have since been cleared of any foul play, deputy provincial police chief Im Voleak said on Tuesday.
Security guards working at the Chinese-owned Yaduoli Casino, located in the city’s Buon commune, nabbed the men—who were mostly from Kampot province—at 8 p.m. after a mammoth gambling session of about seven hours, according to Mr. Voleak.
“They won $150,000,” he said.
“The casino accused them of using a trick by changing the cards, so [they] detained them in one room in the casino without informing either a prosecutor or local authority.”
He said the casino called the Interior Ministry’s anti-commercial gambling department the following morning and the men were transferred to the department’s provincial office. He was not sure why the casino did not call local police.
Mr. Voleak said 10 of the men were released from the department on Monday after being found to have done nothing wrong.
The other three—identified by Mr. Voleak as Lay Pin, Ly Hokleang and Lim Peng—were sent to the provincial court the same day, but were later released when prosecutor Lim Bunheng “found no evidence to inculpate them,” he said.
Mr. Bunheng and the provincial court spokesman could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Management at Yaduoli Casino also could not be reached.
Pov Sam Un, deputy chief of the Interior Ministry’s anti-commercial gambling department, declined to comment on the case before hanging up on a reporter.
Casinos across the country have in the past detained gamblers who lose significant sums and cannot repay the debt, but holding those who win is an uncommon practice.