Wednesday, December 14, 2011

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A MAN fronted a police press conference yesterday and spoke of his role in kidnapping So Kano, the son of So Phan, the secretary of state for the Ministry of Interior.

Suth Sophy, 38, said that after So Kano’s kidnapping on October 3, he drove the victim to a rented house in Toek LaakI commune, Toul Kork district.

Cambodian-French So Kano was kidnapped while driving a car near his house in village III, Chroy Changva commune, Russey Keo district.

The kidnappers demanded US$1 million from his family for his release, but after negotiations, the figure was reduced and So Kano was released for an undisclosed amount on October 23.

Suth Sophy claimed to have received US$10,000 for transporting So Kano, but said he had no more involvement with his fellow kidnappers until So Kano’s release, when he was paid.

Sear Sambath, chief of the Office of Crime Offense of National Military Police, said authorities spent 44 days investigating and tracking Suth Sophy before arresting him.

He said 44-year-old Lim Thy and 38-year-old Lvea Chek, two Cambodians believed to be living in France, were suspected ringleaders of the kidnapping, while 32-year-old Klee Sophy, believed to have escaped to Thailand, Cheat Vichet, 23, and a person known as Van were also wanted.

“They rented a villa to detain the victim and carry out the kidnapping. They spent $US13,500 on three guns, 50 bullets and two cars for the kidnapping,” Sear Sambath said.

Authorities searched a villa on Wednesday in Toek Laak I commune, Toul Kork district.

Police found string, sticky plastic, a diary book and a gun cover in the raid.

Sear Sambath said police were working with the French Embassy in Cambodia to hunt for Lim Thy and Lvea Chek.

So Phan and his family could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

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