A Chinese national and his Cambodian accomplice have been arrested for fatally stabbing a Chinese restaurant owner at a Phnom Penh guesthouse and dumping his body in a river after he refused to pay a $40,000 ransom, according to police.
The two suspects—Gao Keyan, 40, and Cambodian Mong Chamroeun, 21—were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Thursday, said Yim Sarann, Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district police chief, on Friday.
The pair had racked up gambling debts, which drove them to hatch their plan, Chea Sovann, Pur Senchey district’s judicial police chief, said on Sunday,
Mr. Keyan, a cook, invited his former boss, restaurant owner Luo Feng, 35, who lived in Preah Sihanouk, to Phnom Penh on April 11 for a farewell lunch before Mr. Keyan returned to China, Mr. Sarann said.
However, when Luo Feng arrived at his fellow countryman’s guesthouse in Choam Chao commune, the two suspects tied him up and demanded a ransom to release him, he said. On Sunday, Mr. Sovann said the suspects had demanded a $40,000 ransom from the victim.
The suspects “confessed that they confined Mr. Luo Feng, 35, in an attempt to extort money from him, but the victim refused to give a ransom and he was killed” with a knife, said a report on the National Police website on Friday.
The pair then wrapped the victim’s body in plastic and drove to Kandal province, where they dumped the corpse in a river, the report said.
The pair fled to Preah Sihanouk province the following day, Mr. Sarann said on Friday.
“Now, we are collecting more evidence,” he said, adding that he expected the pair to appear at court on Sunday.
However, Mr. Sovann said on Sunday afternoon that they still had not been sent to court because his officers had to combine all the reports from Preah Sihanouk, Kandal and Prey Veng provinces and Phnom Penh.
“The suspects will be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court tomorrow,” he said, adding that police had accused the pair of premeditated murder and extortion.
The pair are being held at Pur Senchey district police headquarters.