Cambodia jails Taiwanese YouTuber for fake kidnap

A Taiwanese YouTuber has been jailed in Cambodia for attempting to stage his own abduction with a friend.

Chen Neng-chuan was arrested with his friend, Lu Tsu-hsien, after posting a video of them apparently being detained and beaten up by security guards in the port city of Sihanoukville.

The area has become notorious for gangs kidnapping people and then forcing them to carry out online scams.

Both men have been sentenced to two years in prison.

The pair were arrested after Chen – known online as Goodnight Chicken – posted videos on Monday, in which they claimed they had been kidnapped and needed help.

The following day, Chen’s wife announced on social media that her husband had gone missing. He then posted another video claiming they were fleeing the kidnappers and said he had been injured in the ordeal, with part of his head shaved.

But online sleuths quickly started casting doubt on the story.

Online influencer Liu Yu managed to pinpoint Chen’s location using the footage he had posted which showed that Chen appeared to have circled an area instead of running away as he claimed.

He also questioned why his abductors would have allowed him to keep his equipment for live streaming.

Soon after, the pair were arrested in their hotel room. They were then paraded in front of the media along with props found in their room.

The provincial court said on Friday that they had been found guilty on charges of “incitement to cause chaos to social security”.

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

They were both handed two-year sentences and ordered to pay a combined fine of around $2,000 (£1,590).

Online scam-related human trafficking is a huge problem in Cambodia, and Sihanoukville is one of the worst areas for it.

A UN report released last year estimated that around 100,000 people had been forced into working these scams in the country.

Most victims are men from Asia, but some have come from further afield such as Africa and Latin America.

Source: BBC

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