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2 victims of staged kidnap scams found in Cambodia after travelling from Singapore

SINGAPORE — Two university students living in Singapore were found in Cambodia after being tricked into travelling there as part of staged kidnap scams, said the police on Friday (Oct 28).

A kidnapped man in a dark room.

A kidnapped man in a dark room.

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SINGAPORE — Two university students living in Singapore were found in Cambodia after being tricked into travelling there as part of staged kidnap scams, said the police on Friday (Oct 28).

In both cases, the victims' parents who were based in China received videos of their sons with their hands tied together. They also received ransom demands from unknown people.

The parents reported the cases to the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Oct 19 and Oct 22.

The first case involved a 21-year-old student who has been living in Singapore for at least four years, while the second case involved a 22-year-old student who had been living in Singapore for at least three years. 

The students in both cases received calls from scammers who claimed to be police officers from China. The scammers told the victims that they were implicated in the spread of misinformation in China – in the first case, about monkeypox, and the second, about COVID-19 in Guangdong.

The scammers demanded the victims' assistance in investigations and told them to travel to Cambodia to carry out "missions", said the SPF.

When the victims arrived in Phnom Penh, they were instructed by the scammers to record videos of themselves pretending to be kidnapped victims for the purposes of scam education and investigations.

They were also asked to stay at different hotels and to cease all communication with their family and friends. 

The scammers then sent the videos to the victims' parents and demanded ransoms – RMB 2,000,000 (S$389,797) in the first case and RMB 800,000 in the second case. No ransoms were paid.

With the help of the Cambodian National Police (CNP) and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Phnom Penh, the police located the victims in Phnom Penh and reunited them with their families.

Police investigations into both cases are ongoing. CNA

For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.

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