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Casino Winner's Wife Held in Cambodia

22 March 2004

CAMBODIA – As reported by the (Thailand) Nation: "Cambodian immigration officials have detained a Thai woman without charge - apparently holding her as a hostage in exchange for her South Korean husband and one of his friends who fled to Thailand after winning a large sum of money in a casino in Poi Pet.

"…The woman, 32-year-old Monchata Paenkaew, has been detained since Saturday evening. She, along with her husband and his South Korean friends, crossed into Cambodia from Thailand on Saturday afternoon.

"According to Thai police, the South Koreans won about Bt5million (US$127,583.56) gambling at the Grand Diamond City casino in Poi Pet.

"After the win, Monchata went to the Poi Pet immigration bureau to carry out the passport procedures needed to return to Thailand, but she was detained and the passports in her possession seized.Monchata was told that the casino had accused her group of cheating and alerted the authorities…"

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