Online scammers present in Cambodia have been arrested by an observant victim
September 6, 2022
PHNOM PENH – Cambodian law enforcement officials are calling on the public to take notice and speak out against an attempted foreign fraud after two suspects in connection with it were arrested by the National Police Criminal Investigation Unit.
The Criminal Investigation Department of the Interior Ministry’s National Police said on September 1 that someone who operated a Facebook account under the name Parimal claimed in August that he was stranded in Ukraine and needed to send money to Cambodia.
Parimal claimed he was looking for friendly people who would be willing to help him and that they would be allowed to keep some of the money if they facilitated the transfer for him.
Parimal found a victim named Ek Piseth, a resident of Chaom Chao II township in the Por Sen Chey district of the capital. Several criminals were involved in this case, including a woman posing as a customs officer.
Scams of this type typically rely on multiple factors to work, trying to prey on victims’ greed by offering compensation for their help, which they also try to foment by allowing them to witness one or more genuine ones Become transactions involving the transfer of large sums of money, but in reality they are the scammers’ accomplices who are on the receiving end.
Finally, they use pressure tactics, forcing victims to make decisions about sometimes complex money movements around the globe on the spot, without the benefit of any consultation or reflection on the matter. Ek Piseth was stolen $9,120 as a result of this tactic.
Piseth was lucky, however, because — after being silent for a while — on August 30, the same criminal contacted him and tried to convince him to send him another $5,000 while still pending delivery of the promised package.
Knowing he had been scammed, Piseth reported what was happening to CID officers.
Police officers were able to intervene and, after investigation, arrested two suspects when they entered a Wing location to swindle their victim into what they believed would be another batch of easy money. The arrest took place in Veal Vong commune in Prampi Makara district of the capital.
The suspects were identified as N’cho Marcel, male, Ivory Coast nationality, and Doung Theary, female Cambodian. Police confiscated some items from them, including $5,800 in cash, the victim’s money and four cell phones.
The criminal police have now arrested the two suspects for questioning in order to set up a court case against them to be forwarded to the public prosecutor’s office.
Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group LICADHO, told the CPA on September 2 that in today’s modern digital age, the network and technological systems that in some ways make our lives so much easier are also turning into dangerous weapons against victims can become .
“As for the crime of fraud or similar crimes like illegal online loans, many of our people are becoming victims of all these problems today because of some lack of education and awareness and therefore we call on law enforcement to arrest those who run away Online scams,” he said, adding that NGOs like his and others need to find ways to teach people online skills and digital literacy.
He added that in order to prevent these online scams from ruining lives in Cambodia, people need to seriously consider what they should and should not believe, especially the words of strangers communicated anonymously online.
Sam Ath said that after arresting the two suspects, he hoped authorities would step up prevention efforts and strictly enforce the law against such offenders so that people don’t continue to fall victim to these scams.