Loan sharks have been active in the region, including in countries like the Philippines and Cambodia. Casino and gambling-related debts and crime has been on the rise.
On Sunday, the Preah Sihanouk provincial military police arrested six Chinese nationals. Those arrested have been charged for kidnapping and confining 10 of their countrymen over casino debt.
Commenting on the arrests, Brigadier General Heng Bunty, commander of the provincial military police, confirmed that the six accused were loan sharks who were working for a casino in Cambodia’s gambling hub of Sihanoukville.
“They were arrested on Sunday after provincial military police forces raided their rented villa in Sihanoukville,” Brig Gen Bunty said.
“After they were arrested, military police rescued ten Chinese men,” he added. “Handcuffs, torches, six phones, and other materials were seized.”
The victims have been returned to their families.
Both Cambodia and China have been cracking down on illegal gambling and casino-related crimes. According to the figures released by China’s Ministry of Public Security, about 1000 suspects have been arrested by Chinese and Cambodian authorities over charges of illegal online gambling, telecommunications fraud and gambling-related organized crimes.
The Chinse state-run media house, Xinhua news, also reports that about 50 percent of these arrests have been made after Cambodia declared a blanket ban on online gambling in the country.