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Cambodia jails two Taiwanese men for faking kidnap

Two Taiwanese men have each been sentenced to two years in jail after they staged a fake kidnapping from a Cambodian seaside resort and put footage of it online.

Chen Neng-chuan, 31, and 34-year-old Lu Tsu-hsien were arrested after they posted a video on Facebook of themselves being detained and beaten up by security guards at a building in the city of Sihanoukville earlier this week, Preah Sihanouk provincial court said in a statement.

“Both men had entered Cambodia to produce slanderous videos related to human trafficking, detention with torture, rape and selling human organs,” according to the statement.

The court found them guilty on charges of “incitement to cause chaos to social security” at a trial, it added.

They were sentenced to two years in jail each and ordered to pay a combined fine of about €1,800.

The provincial government said the men produced videos with “fake content that affects the honour, order, and security” of the province.

Extensive reporting has documented thousands of people – most Chinese, but some from Taiwan and other countries – being lured to operate online scams fleecing victims for large sums.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) said one of the men live-streamed a video on Monday in which he claimed to have broken into a “scam park”.

In the video, it appears he is chased and beaten up by unseen attackers, while a second video shows him claiming to have escaped.

In the second video he shows injuries and describes being robbed, tied up, beaten and assaulted with a stun gun, CNA said.

In August, the United Nations warned that hundreds of thousands of people are being coerced in southeast Asia by criminal gangs into carrying out online scams, often under the threat of torture.

Many have been trafficked into working in online criminality and face serious violations such as torture or sexual violence, the UN said in a report.

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