After V.V.N and N.V.L, who are both 16 years old and grade 10 students at a local school, were released to Vietnam on July 29, their fathers reported the case to police on July 31.
The victims’ families live in Tan Phu Town, Dong Phu District.
According to their reports, on July 26, when they were going out, N and L met a man, their acquaintance who is about 30 years old, in the town.
The man lured the students to visit Cambodia to gamble, but the students refused, saying they had no money. The man then said they “could gamble there without needing to have money.”
The students agreed and the man hired a taxi to carry them to Cambodia, where he later detained the students in a hotel room.
The kidnapper then called N’s father, Mr. Dang, on July 27, telling him that they were holding his son and another child, and that if the families of the two students failed to pay him US$8,000, he would kill them.
Mr. Phuong, L’s father, also received the same claim and threat from the strange man.
Since they did not have that much money, both families told the kidnapper that they could not pay the ransom.
However, two days later, the two fathers were called from a phone number in Vietnam by another man who said he had rescued the students from the captor and was keeping them in the Moc Bai border gate in Tay Ninh Province.
The man asked the boys’ relatives to go there to receive them on the condition that each family had to pay him a “reimbursement” of VND5 million (US$240) for his help in saving the students.
These families agreed to pay and the two fathers later met their boys in Moc Bai, taking them back from a strange man.
The police are investigating and hunting for the man who had kidnapped the boys and others involved in the case.
In a survey released in April by the Ministry of Public Security’s General Department of Crime Prevention and Control, about 3,600 Vietnamese people go to Cambodia to gamble every day, and on Saturdays the figure increases to 5,000.
The agency said it had conducted the survey at 40 casinos and 23 cockfighting fields in Cambodia and ten Vietnamese localities that border Cambodia.
Gambling in any form is illegal under Vietnam’s law except in casinos where only foreigners are allowed in.