2 S’pore Students Found in Cambodia After Being Tricked into Staged Kidnap Scams

Yesterday (28 October), the police announced that two university students living in Singapore ended up flying from Singapore to Cambodia after falling victim to scammers who tried to trick them into “complying with investigations”.

The two university students, both male, ended up being victims of a staged kidnap scam, where their parents were sent clips of their sons having their hands tied together. The scammers also asked them for ransoms.

The two pairs of parents, both living in China, decided to notify the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on 19 and 22 October separately.

The victim of the case reported earlier involved a 21-year-old student who has been living in Singapore since at least four years ago, while the latter involved a 22-year-old student who has been living in Singapore for at least three years.

Here’s what happened.

What Exactly Happened

Prior to flying over to Cambodia, both students had received calls from the scammers, who were impersonating police officers from China.

The scammers first notified them that they had been involved in spreading misinformation in China. The first victim was told that he did so with monkeypox-related information, while the second one was told theat he had done so with information relating to COVID-19 in Guangdong.

The SPF added that the scammers proceeded to demand that the victims “assist in investigations” relating to their “crimes”.

They were then instructed to fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in order for them to accomplish their “missions”, and the victims did so.

After reaching Phnom Penh, the scammers issued them more instructions.

This time, the victims were told to record videos of themselves acting as victims of a kidnapping.

And if you’re wondering why the victims did it, it’s because they were told that the videos would be used for “scam education and investigation”.

Additionally, the scammers told both of them to stay at different hotels and to stop all communication with their friends and family.

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Ransoms Not Paid, Students Have Since Been Found

Thereafter, the scammers took the videos that the students recorded and forwarded them to the students’ parents.

They also demanded ransoms from both pair of parents, with the first pair receiving a demand for RMB 2,000,000 (approximately S$389,797) and the second receiving a demand for RMB 800,000 (approximately S$156,202).

None of the parents paid the ransoms.

Afterwrads, the Cambodian National Police (CNP) and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Phnom Penh were able to find the victims in Phnom Penh and helped them reunite with their families.

Police investigations regarding both cases have since begun.

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