Thai Suspects in Gambling Case Claim Torture

The lawyer representing six Thai nationals suspected of participating in a high-tech card-cheating scam that swindled Poipet’s Star Ve­gas Casino out of more than $3.5 million said that his clients had been tortured during their detention.

“They were tortured during their interrogation in Poipet, and we believe this took place inside the grounds of the Star Vegas Ca­sino,” lawyer Kao Soupha said Tues­day.

He said one of his clients had two black eyes and two others had bruises running down their left arms. He said the remaining three were also tortured yet bore no scars from the experience.

Nine Thai nationals were originally arrested when the scam was dis­­covered Jan 12. Three were re­leased after agreeing to pay an un­dis­closed sum in compensation to the casino, while the others were trans­ferred to Phnom Penh last week.

The six have been charged with theft and incarcerated at Prey Sar pri­son on the authority of Muni­ci­pal Court Investigating Judge Ham Meng Se.

Ham Meng Se confirmed Tues­­day that at least one suspect bore brui­ses. “I saw one man with a black eye, but I do not know how it was caused,” he said.

A manager at the Star Vegas Ca­sino who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the suspects were in perfect physical health when they were transferred to po­lice custody.

Director of Prey Sar prison Kim Sarin also said the suspects were per­fectly healthy, and that they had been visited by a representative from the Thai embassy on both Monday and Tuesday.

Thai Embassy officials were un­­available for comment Tuesday.



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