The Indonesian Embassy has demanded that police arrest employees of a casino in Kandal province who allegedly tortured three Indonesian citizens who were among 16 illegally detained after $161,000 worth of casino credit went missing, an embassy official said Tuesday.
Muhsinin Dolisada, a first secretary at the Indonesian Embassy, said the embassy had sent a letter to Kandal provincial police calling for the arrest of employees from the Grand Dragon Resort’s casino in Koh Thom district.
“We already sent a letter that demanded the government also arrest the persons at the casino who were doing the detention and the beatings,” he said.
Mr. Dolisada said that if no arrests were made, the embassy would press formal charges.
Last week, Abelian Yodha, another first secretary at the Indonesian Embassy, said the casino, owned by the Dai Long Company, had employed 17 Indonesian nationals.
On around May 9, one of the workers, Jefry Sun, fled after $161,000 went missing from the casino. According to the embassy, Dai Long then ordered the 16 remaining Indonesians be detained.
In a statement released Monday, the embassy claims the casino, which it describes as “mafia-style,” tortured some of the Indonesians while they were detained.
“[A]s many as 3 of them had suffered physical abuses from the casino. While all of the 16 Indonesian migrant workers were also threatened by the casino’s leader with an electric shock device,” the statement says.
Mr. Dolisada said Tuesday that Mr. Jefry was being held in a house in Phnom Penh after turning himself into the embassy late last week and admitted that he acted alone in carrying out the theft.
“He’s here to help his friends and to take all the responsibility for all the wrongdoing he has done,” Mr. Dolisada said, adding that the embassy plans to turn him over to the Kandal court.
According to Mr. Dolisada, Mr. Jefry did not steal physical cash, but rather embezzled credit used at the casino for online gambling.
Despite Mr. Jefry’s confession, Kandal provincial police have been housing 10 of the 16 Indonesians at a guesthouse in Takhmao City since May 16 as the provincial court investigates claims by the casino that they were complicit in the theft, Mr. Dolisada said.
The other six, he said, have since been released and are in Phnom Penh while they wait for their travel documents to be processed.
“Last night they said they want to go home, all of them,” Mr. Dolisada said.
According to Mr. Dolisada, the 10 have not yet been charged, but have been told by the Kandal provincial court that they will not be allowed to leave the province until the court’s investigation is complete.
“The prosecutor said they cannot leave because if the civil charges haven’t been dropped yet, they cannot leave Cambodia,” he said.
Mr. Dolisada said Indonesian Ambassador Pitono Purnomo also met Tuesday with Long Visalo, a secretary of state at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, to try to find a solution for the 10.
“Mr. Visalo said that he will review the problem,” Mr. Dolisada said.
Mr. Visalo could not be reached for comment.
Kandal provincial prosecutor Lim Sokuntha said the court was still investigating the case.
“I have not charged them yet or questioned them,” he said.
Kandal provincial police chief Iv Chamroeun said his officers are watching the Indonesians and helping to care for them, but insisted they are not detaining the group.
“They stay at the guesthouse and they can walk freely,” he said. “How can we say they are detained?”
Ros Sitha, a lawyer representing Grand Dragon Resort, denied the allegations of torture.
“We didn’t torture them,” he said. “They are staff, how can we torture them?”
He added that officials from the embassy told him they would file charges against the casino if it did not drop charges against the 10, but the casino still planned to move forward with the case.
“We have enough evidence to show that they committed the crime,” he said. “The embassy should not get involved with this case, because it is a private issue.”
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