Three Provisionally Charged For Unsuccessful Kidnapping

Three men arrested over the weekend for the attempted kidnapping of a 50-year-old food trader in Kompong Speu province were provisionally charged at the provincial court on Monday afternoon, as police said they were searching for two more suspects.

Sam Bora, deputy provincial police chief, confirmed that the three —Tha Thim, 20; Rin Sam An, 29; and Im Sokleng, 33—would spend Monday night at the provincial police headquarters before returning to court today for further questioning.

“They were charged by the prosecutor over the kidnapping already,” Mr. Bora said. “Due to the questioning happening so late, they have been sent back to the police station so that the judge can complete the judicial procedure tomorrow.”

Keo Sothear, the provincial court prosecutor, declined to comment.

Mr. Bora said Mr. Thim is suspected of actually carrying out the attempted kidnapping on Friday afternoon, in which businesswoman Phnong Ki was followed down a quiet road in Odong district before being pulled into the woods, where her hands and feet were bound and tied to a tree.

Police said the kidnapper called a relative to demand $20,000, but Ms. Ki managed to escape and was able to give a description to police, leading them to arrest Mr. Thim at his home later that day.

Under questioning, Mr. Thim confessed to the kidnapping attempt and named Mr. Sam An as an accomplice, Mr. Bora said. Records from their phones led police to the third suspect, Mr. Sokleng, who was arrested on Saturday morning, he added.

Mr. Bora explained that Mr. Sokleng was believed to have facilitated the escape of two additional suspects by providing motorbikes, although he declined to explain how they were connected with the kidnapping, or provide their names because the investigation was ongoing.

Under the criminal code, detention or unlawful confinement committed to secure the payment of a ransom is punishable by imprisonment of between 15 and 30 years.

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