Cambodian law enforcement authorities are calling on the public to be aware of and guard against a scam being carried out from abroad after two suspects were arrested in connection with it by the Criminal Investigations Department of the National Police.
The National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department under the Interior Ministry said on September 1 that in August, someone operating a Facebook account under the name Parimal claimed he had been stranded in Ukraine. and had to send money to Cambodia.
Parimal claimed that he was looking for kind people 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 commune in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district. Several criminals were involved in this case, including a woman claiming to be a customs officer.
Scams of this type usually rely on several factors to work in that by offering compensation for their help, they attempt to prey on the greed of the victims, which they also attempt to fuel by allowing them to witness one or more real transactions involving the transfer of large sums of money, but in reality it is the accomplices of the scammers who are the victims.
Finally, they apply pressure tactics and force victims to make decisions about sometimes complex movements of money around the world on the spot, without the benefit of advice or reflection on the matter. Ek Piseth was robbed of $9,120 because of these tactics.
Piseth was lucky, however, because – after being silent for some time – on August 30, the same criminal contacted him and tried to convince him to send another $5,000 while waiting for the delivery of the promised package.
Knowing that he had been deceived, Piseth reported what was happening to the officers of the Criminal Investigation Department.
The officers were able to intervene and after investigating arrested two suspects as they entered a Wing location to remove what they believed to be another easy loot of cash from their victim. The bust took place in Veal Vong commune of the capital’s Prampi Makara district.
The suspects were identified as N’cho Marcel, male, Ivorian nationality, and Doung Theary, Cambodian female. The police seized some items from them, such as $5,800 in cash, the victim’s money and four cell phones.
The Criminal Investigation Department has now detained the two suspects for questioning to build a court case against them for referral to prosecutors.
Am Sam Ath, deputy director of advocacy group LICADHO, told APC on September 2 that in today’s modern digital age, the network and technology systems that make our lives so much easier in some ways can also be turned into dangerous weapons to wield against the victims. .
“When it comes to the crime of scam or similar crimes like illegal online lending, so many of our people today are being victimized by all of these issues due to a lack of education and awareness by some and we so call on law enforcement to apprehend those running 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 to prevent these online scams from ruining lives in Cambodia, people need to think seriously about what to believe and what not to believe, especially the words of strangers communicated anonymously in line.
Sam Ath said that after the arrest of the two suspects, he hopes the authorities will step up their prevention efforts and strictly enforce the law against these offenders, lest people continue to fall victim to these scams.