Chinese ‘gangster’ video that caused Cambodia’s police chief to intervene ‘was a prank’

Zhuang Pinghui
Chinese ‘gangster’ video that caused Cambodia’s police chief to intervene ‘was a prank’

A video that sparked an investigation by police in Cambodia after appearing to show Chinese gangsters threatening chaos there has been revealed to be a prank, Beijing Daily reported.

Posted on 58cam.com, a listing website for Chinese in Cambodia, the video – showing a group of topless men claiming they would be taking control of Sihanoukville – started to circulate on mainland social media last week.

“Kampong Som, in the next three years, whether it will be safe or chaotic, is under my control,” the apparent leader was shown declaring in Mandarin, using the alternative name for Sihanoukville, which is both a city and a province. He then turned around and asked, “Am I right?” to which the group roared: “Yes!”

It prompted the Southeast Asian country’s national police chief to pledge to bring the gang to justice, and the Chinese embassy in Cambodia to issue a statement on Sunday saying it would cooperate with the investigation.

But on Tuesday evening the national police chief General Neth Savoeun told Khmer Times the police had found that the Chinese group were not in the country.

“After the investigation, we found that the video clip is old, and the gang of Chinese men is not staying in Preah Sihanouk [Sihanoukville province],” he was quoted as saying.

“National police officers have continued to investigate and shared the information on this case with China.”

On Wednesday afternoon Beijing Daily , the mouthpiece of the Communist Party’s publicity department in the city, reported that the video had been shot by a group of friends for fun when they were travelling in Sihanoukville in March.

Quoting a comment on 58cam.com by a man claiming to have posed as the gang leader in the video, it reported that he had made about 20 videos and tried to post them to popular video sharing app TikTok (known in China as Douyin), but that they had been censored and he was unsure how this video ended up online.

The unnamed man said he had returned to China and had no intention of breaking any law in Cambodia, but was willing to face the consequences if he had done so.

The Chinese embassy in Cambodia could not be reached for comment.

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