Vietnamese Police Investigate Cambodian Casino Detention

Police in Vietnam’s Long An province have begun investigating the case of a Vietnamese man who was held for ransom under the threat of death by a casino in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet City last month, Vietnamese media reported Saturday.

According to the report by Thanh Nien newspaper, 18-year-old Nguyen Huu Tinh was de­tained by employees of the Las Vegas Casino in early December after he lost $1,920 that he had borrowed.

On Dec 14, his finger was cut off and sent to his mother in Vietnam, along with a note that said that if she did not pay $3,100, his organs would be sold in China.

She traveled to Cambodia to pay the ransom soon after.

Mr. Nguyen told police that he was held in a room with several men who had also lost in the casino, one of whom had his ear cut off, the report said.

Bavet City police chief Keo Kong said he was unaware of the case, referring all questions to the Ministry of Interior’s director of casino security, Lim Eang.

Mr. Eang was also unaware of the case.

“Such a thing never really happens here, especially at the Las Vegas Casino, which I find honors human rights,” Mr. Eang said. “If this happened, why didn’t they bring a complaint to the police station? However, we will investigate to see if this is true or not.”

Las Vegas Casino could not be reached for comment.

In a separate case, a 13-year-old girl, who had been detained by Bay Tang Casino in Bavet City since Nov 18 when her father lost nearly $5,000 there, was released on Dec 26, Thanh Nien reported on Friday.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Kieu was returned home after her family negotiated with the casino for her release, the report said, adding that her father, Nguyen Van Lam, is still in detention.

Mr. Eang said he had read about the case in the Vietnamese media, but was unaware of the girl’s release.

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