Woman Allegedly Detained, Beaten in Thailand

The family of a Cambodian woman working in a Bangkok casino filed a complaint with local rights group Adhoc on Monday seeking help after semi-naked photos of their relative appeared on Facebook about two weeks after they had lost contact with her.

Phat Somasa, 32, from Banteay Meanchey province, had been working in a Poipet casino for two years before recently moving to work in a casino in Bangkok, where her family said she is now being held against her will.

Soum Chankea, Adhoc coordinator in Banteay Meanchey, said Tuesday that he had received a complaint from Ms. Somasa’s family stating that she was being detained and had been beaten by the manager of the casino, which he did not know the name of.

“The victim had been missing since November 29, and it wasn’t until December that the victim’s friend and co-worker gave [her family] information regarding the victim, as well as a photo on Facebook that showed two women naked and beaten,” Mr. Chankea said.

“One of the victims was identified as Phat Somasa…the other has not yet been identified and we are still searching for her relatives.”

Chhum Sopheap, Ms. Somasa’s 32-year-old brother-in-law, said that the missing woman contacted the family on Monday night, the first time they had heard from her since the photos appeared on Facebook.

“On Monday night, my sister-in-law called our family. She was whispering and said that she was being threatened by the manager of the casino she worked at in Thailand,” he said.

The manager of the casino, Mr. Sopheap added, had confiscated the women’s savings after accusing Ms. Somasa and the unidentified woman of colluding with gamblers to cheat the casino.

“The 1 million baht [about $31,100] that she had worked for and had been saving for two years was confiscated,” he said.

It is unclear exactly when the photos first appeared online or why the coworker who supposedly took and uploaded the photos did not first alert authorities.

Mr. Chankea said that Adhoc would continue to monitor the case.

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