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Cambodia arrests net phone users

Issued: 17 July 2003

Twenty foreigners were arrested and questioned for using the Internet to make illegal international phone calls.

The group consists of 14 Briton, two American, an Australian, A New Zealander, a Filipino, and a Thai. Three of them were women.

To make phone calls via the Internet is a crime in Cambodia because according to the law, all phone calls must be routed through the state phone company or firms it has licensed. The companies charge comparatively high rates for overseas calls.

According to the source, military police raided a house in central Phnom Penh where the 20 were staying and found that them calling overseas to sell "stock options".

The group of foreigners is being in process of questioning to find out what they would be charged or what maximum penalty they would faced. Police said that they would be released once they paid the state phone company for the overseas calls.

Police in Southeast Asia have periodically closed companies in which Western sales staffs make high-pressure solicitations over the phone to persuade would-be-investors in other countries to purchase shares in shaky or non-existent companies.




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