Man charged over nude photo extortion

Source: Khmer Times

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The alleged extortionist Pha Phana.

A 32-year-old Korean language teacher was yesterday charged by Kandal Provincial Court for extorting more than $40,000 from a Cambodian woman whom he met in school.

Long Veasna, a Kandal province police officer, identified the accused as Pha Phana, a Korean language teacher living in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district.

Mr Veasna said he was charged with blackmail under aggravating circumstances and faces five to ten years in prison if convicted.

He added the suspect has been jailed pending his trial.

Mr Veasna said the suspect was arrested on Monday in accordance with a legal complaint filed by Srey Nang, 31, a mechanic labourer working in South Korea.

Kong Chamroeun, Ponleu district deputy police chief, said the accused was previously convicted of armed robbery in 2003 and released from prison in 2014.

He said he learned to speak Korean upon his release from prison and met the victim while studying at a school in Kampong Chhnang province.

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In 2015, the victim left for work as a labourer in South Korea. In February 2017, the victim returned home to get married to a friend of the accused. Five days after the marriage, she again left for work in South Korea.

In April, the accused began a love affair with the victim via Facebook messenger, through which they shared nude photographs.

“They always chatted and shared nude photos with each other,” Mr Chamroeun said.

Mr Chamroeun said that in June, the accused began extorting money from the victim by threatening to share the photos online and with her husband. He demanded cash to delete the photos.

“Because the victim was afraid that her husband and family would discover her affair, she always sent money to the accused every time he threatened her,” Mr Chamroeun said. “She finally had enough because she ran out of money and came home, where she filed a lawsuit against him.”

He added that according to the victim’s complaint, the accused extorted a total of $43,000 from her.

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