Two Arrested Over Knifepoint Kidnapping, Extortion Scheme

Police arrested two Chinese nationals accused of grabbing a Chinese masseuse at knifepoint and detaining her at a Kandal province guesthouse in a scheme to extort $10,000 from her employer, a police official said Friday.

The suspects, who knew the woman, 24-year-old Qing Ping Yi, from the Borey New Town massage parlor in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district, invited her to join them for a meal at about 3 a.m. on Thursday, then pushed her into a taxi at knifepoint and ordered the driver to take them to Takhmao City, district police chief Yim Sa­rann said.

Upon reaching Takhmao City, the suspects got out of the taxi and hailed two motorbike taxis to take them to the guesthouse, he said.

“Both suspects pushed the female victim to get into the taxi and held a knife against her neck,” Mr. Sarann said. “When they were on the moto-taxis, a suspect still pointed the knife to the victim’s neck.”

After reaching the guesthouse, the suspects called the woman’s employer and threatened to kill the woman unless her boss paid them $10,000 by noon, said Sim Buth Bundith, police chief of Takmao City.

The employer claimed she had no cash on hand, however, and persuaded the suspects to give her another three hours to transfer the money, Mr. Sarann said. In the intervening time, she alerted police, who tracked the trio’s location and moved in to make the arrests, he said.

Police from Pur Senchey district assisted Takhmao City police in arresting the suspects—Ong Qi Xian, 42, and Di Yang Ping, 28—at about 5 p.m. on Thursday, the police officials said.

“We arrested one along the street while the suspect was working, and we arrested the other one in a guesthouse room,” Mr. Sa­rann said. “We confiscated one knife and one string that they kept for tightening on the neck.”

The suspects were turned over to Pur Senchey police for questioning. The pair was expected to be sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Saturday.

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